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Appendix (pp.701-748)
CIA/DoD Phoenix Program:
Targeting non-combatants (civilians)
Also: Exit strategy, rigged elections, puppet government

CIS: 71 S381-2 SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:V 67/17

Vietnam: Policy and Prospects, 1970 {58.4mb.pdf, source}










February 17, 18, 19, 20, and March 3, 4, 17, 19, 1970 {appendix}

GPO mark

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations

44-706 WASHINGTON : 1970


J. W. Fulbright, Arkansas, Chairman

John Sparkman, AlabamaGeorge D. Aiken, Vermont
Mike Mansfield, MontanaKarl E. Mundt, South Dakota
Albert Gore, TennesseeClifford P. Case, New Jersey
Frank Church, IdahoJohn Sherman Cooper, Kentucky
Stuart Symington, MissouriJohn J. Williams, Delaware
Thomas J. Dodd, ConnecticutJacob K. Javits, New York
Claiborne Pell, Rhode Island
Gale W. McGee, Wyoming

Carl Marcy, Chief of Staff

Arthur M. Kuhl, Chief Clerk

Note.— Sections of this hearing have been deleted at the request of the Department of State and the Department of Defense. Deleted material is indicated by the notation “[Deleted].”



{To come}

{Appendix: pages 701-748}




{Submitted February 18 1970,
hearings, page 87}:

Statement for the Record on the Administrative Aspects of Pacification and Development

(By Ambassador W. E. Colby)

Mr. Chairman: In this statement I will cover the organization, personnel, and costs of the Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) effort. I will also describe briefly how it works and how it relates to the Vietnamese organization for Pacification and Development. In my opening statement I touched on the background of the organization and briefly traced the concept and evolution of its establishment. As I indicated, CORDS is a combined civil/military organization within the U.S. Military Assistance Command (MACV) headed by General Creighton Abrams. I am General Abrams’ Deputy for Civil Operations and Rural Development Support.


A. Exhibit A shows the organization of MACV. As you can see, CORDS is an integral part of MACV. Its headquarters component, headed by an Assistant Chief of Staff, operates under the Chief of Staff like other headquarters staff elements and through the Chief of Staff to field commands. As General Abrams’ Deputy for CORDS I have access through the Chief of Staff to the Field Commands and to all the staff agencies, including CORDS. This same arrangement is repeated at the Corps level where each U.S. Field Force Commander has a Deputy for CORDS and a staff agency for CORDS. The Commander’s responsibilities fall into three categories, command of any U.S. troops units in the area, the Vietnamese Army advisory effort, and the pacification and development advisory effort or CORDS. At Province level, the Province Senior Advisor, who may be military or civilian depending on the security situation commands a unified CORDS organization. Twenty-five (25) Provinces currently have military Province Senior Advisors and nineteen (19) plus four autonomous cities have civilians.

B. Exhibit B shows the relationship between CORDS and other Mission elements. While I am a member of the Mission Council, the CORDS organization itself relates to other U.S. Agency headquarters through the MACV structure. At the Saigon level, National Security Council Action Memorandum #362 of May 9, 1967, directed the establishment of MACCORDS and dealt with its relationship to other U.S. agencies. The Embassy, AID and JUSPAO all have independent headquarters staffs reporting directly to Ambassador Bunker. However, their field activities and personnel operate through the MACV chain of command. Thus, all field activities are under a single manager: MACV. This arrangement is an unprecedented approach, melding civil and military responsibilities and personnel into one organization.

C. Within CORDS there are staffs for each element of the Pacification and Development program. The Refugee, Chieu Hoi, Public Safety, and Community Development Directorates are concerned with civil oriented programs and therefore are staffed mainly by civilians. The Territorial Security Directorate staff is mainly military. The other Directorates, like Plans, Policy and Programs, Reports and Analysis, and Management Support are more fully combined civil/military staffs. The primary mission of the Directors is to advise their counterpart GVN agencies. In addition, they have internal MACV staff responsibilities.


A. Exhibit C shows how the Vietnam Central Pacification and Development Council is organized. As you can see there are similar councils down through the GVN chain of command; at corps and province. I have weekly meetings with Major General Hon who is Chief of the Pacification Coordination Center, in effect the principal staff manager of Pacification and Development. Mr. McManaway, Director of Plans, Policy and Programs of CORDS, meets with General Hon more frequently, at times daily. I also meet frequently with the Prime Minister, {p.702} but these meetings are not on a regularly scheduled basis. At these meetings, we discuss a wide variety of problems and proposals dealing with Pacification and Development.

B. I will not describe here what the advisors at corps, province, and district do on a day-to-day basis since there are representatives from each level available here today who will be discussing that with you, but in general the relationship with the Vietnamese follows the pattern at the central level, growing closer at province and district level.


A. CORDS has 7,627 authorized U.S. personnel spaces. The actual on-board figure varies, of course, but as of the end of January the fill was 7,368 personnel or about 96%. Exhibit D breaks out the authorized figures. The great majority of total personnel are assigned in the field.

B. The largest single advisory element is the one most closely related to Vietnamization and U.S. troop redeployment. This element is the 353, 5-man Mobile Advisory Teams (MAT) who rotate among the Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces with the mission of assisting them in upgrading their effectiveness.

C. A similar approach toward the same objective is the Combined Action Platoon (CAP) concept employed by the Marines in I Corps. There are 114 CAP Teams who report through the I Corps Marine chain of command rather than the CORDS structure so they are not included in Exhibit D figures. Coordination takes place at the CTZ and province levels. We have with us today representatives of both the MATs and CAPs who will be describing what they do in more detail.

D. The total number of military personnel in CORDS is 6,437: 2,427 officers and 4,010 enlisted men. The majority are at Province and District levels and are involved in advising their Vietnamese counterparts on programs, as well as general management and advisory support.

E. We have 883 civilian officers, from AID and the Department of State assigned to CORDS. These personnel work in those areas of activity for which CORDS has full responsibility, such as Refugees, Chieu Hoi, and Community Development. This category does not include USAID technicians working in the areas of education, health, and agriculture, nor certain State Department personnel who are assigned by the Embassy to the field and thus come under the operational control of, rather than assignment to, MACV. The latter category totals some 242 positions.

F. The last category of U.S. personnel is DOD-funded civilians assigned to CORDS. There are 65 people in this category. These people work mainly in the Rural Development (RD) Cadre and Phoenix programs both at headquarters and in the field.


A. These, then, are the Americans involved. I will now describe how they are selected, trained and how they are assigned.

B. Military advisors, particularly those serving as Province Senior Advisors (PSA) or Deputy Province Senior Advisors (DPSA) are carefully screened and selected through a special process set up for this purpose by the Department of the Army (DA). The Chief of Staff, General Westmoreland, personally notifies each individual selected and obtains his acceptance of the assignment in writing. DSAs are also selected by special, but less elaborate, procedure by the Career Branch, Department of the Army.

C. Senior civilian officers, including those in PSA and DPSA positions, are initially selected by nomination by their parent agency, AID or Department of State. The nominations are sent to USAID/Saigon which, in coordination with ACofS, CORDS and myself, reviews and accepts or rejects the nomination.

D. The military PSA/DPSA serves an 18-month tour and the DSA at least 12 months with options for extending. Civilian tours are at least 18 months. Some 45-50% of all civilian advisors return at their request for a second tour and in a number of key positions, particularly at the Saigon and Corps levels, we have officers with long and extensive experience in Vietnam and Southeast Asia generally.

E. All civilian advisors receive at least seven weeks training at the Foreign Service Institute. The majority of junior officers, both AID and Department of State, receive up to forty-two weeks of language training in Washington depending on the individual’s language aptitude determined through special tests.

F. For Province Senior Advisors and their deputies, both military and civilian, there is a special course at the Vietnam Training Center in Washington. The course includes language training and may extend as long as forty-two weeks {p.703} depending on the individual’s needs. Once in country, there are orientation briefings in Saigon, plus orientations when they report in at Corps and Province, The District Senior Advisors and their deputies receive 18 weeks training at the Vietnam Training Center.

G. In addition to the above there is a 5-day CORDS Advisor Orientation Course for all newly arrived personnel which provides a comprehensive review of all aspects of pacification. There is also an in-country Vietnamese language training program run by CORDS available to all CORDS personnel.

H. The MAT Team members have a special course at the Di An Training Center which runs 18 days covering all facets of their role in training and upgrading the RF and PF.

I. In terms of quality, I would say that overall we probably have had and continue to have some of the best and most dedicated officers in the U.S. Government serving in Vietnam. They are for the most part hand picked. Where an officer cannot or will not perform satisfactorily he is removed at once and either assigned to another job where he can perform or sent home. Precise figures are not available, but the CORDS military advisors do receive a high percentage of the total awards and decorations presented to MACV advisors. The CORDS civilians also have a record of dedication and achievement. Over the past year and a half there have been 24 killed, 45 wounded and 12 captured. Of the latter, one was released, one escaped, and four to the best of our knowledge have died in captivity. Since the establishment of CORDS, its civilians have been awarded the U.S. Secretary’s Award twice, the Award for Heroism 18 times, the Distinguished Honor Award five times and the Superior Honor Award 11 times. More than 60 have received the Meritorious Honor Award and about 400 have received awards from the Vietnamese Government.


A. At this point I would like to discuss the reporting systems used by both the Americans and the Vietnamese in managing pacification and judging its trends. There are a number of systems now in use. These include systems reporting on terrorist incidents, Territorial Forces Evaluation, People’s Self Defense Forces, National Police evaluation, the refugee situation, and others. ¶

The most important, especially in terms of overall trends in security, is the Hamlet Evaluation System. I will discuss this system in some detail and some recent changes that have been worked into it.

B. The HES was started in January 1967 to provide a way to measure trends in pacification progress countrywide. The system was developed to provide automated data processing of comprehensive evaluations of the situation in each hamlet level prepared by District Senior Advisors.

C. Each rater evaluates the hamlets in his district in terms of 18 separate indicators. Nine of the indicators are related to hamlet security and nine to socio-economic development. Each of the 18 indicators can be rated on a scale of five points running from A through E. Enemy controlled hamlets are simply rated as Category V. Scores are averages of these ratings.

D. In addition to the 18 indicator ratings, evaluators are also required to report estimates of hamlet population, map coordinates, and whether or not the hamlet was visited by GVN or U.S. officials during the month.

E. The Hamlet Evaluation System has been an effective tool for planning and managing pacification and related programs in Vietnam since 1967. The ratings are certainly not absolute measurements of security or development but they have been valuable comparative indicators of the pacification situation at different times and in different places. Weaknesses in the system have been relatively constant, thus the figures are useful trend indicators. They have served as a basis for allocating new resources, identifying weak areas, planning expansion of pacification, setting of goals and monitoring performance.

F. To improve HES and make it more useful, a revision has been in process since June 1968. This has involved a three-month trial period, November and December 1968, and January 1969, plus extensive revision and discussion thereafter. In July 1969, the new system called HES 70 was implemented in all districts of Vietnam and has been completed regularly in parallel with the regular HES. Since the GVN pacification and development plan for 1969 utilized HES extensively, it was believed essential to continue HES trends and measurements through the completion of the 1969 plan. This also gave us some solid experience with HES 70.

G. HES 70 differs from the current HES in the following respects:

(1) More objective questions which separately determine answers to specific conditions rather than the use of a grading scale. {p.704}

(2) HES 70 uses a centralized mathematical scoring technique for question replies, rather than a subjective grading by the District Senior advisor. Questions are combined into categories, these then combined to achieve security, political and socio/economic ratings, and these then combined to provide an overall pacification rating for each hamlet and village in Vietnam.

(3) More data will be available centrally because of additional specific questions on hamlets and villages throughout the country.

(4) In HES 70 there are separate questions on both hamlet and village level, and separate questions monthly and quarterly. The questions cover additional subjects not covered by the current HES, but because some are answered only quarterly, fewer questions per month are completed by the District Senior advisor.


A. The last part of my statement will cover pacification funding, how much the programs I described in other statements, and the organization and advisory support I have just discussed, costs and how the GVN and the U.S. Government share the burden.

B. The total financial resources going into pacification have risen over the past five years as you can see on Exhibit E. As significant as the magnitude of the increase is the composition. The upward trend reflects the result of the GVN itself applying more of its own revenue and resources to pacification, a strong indication of the priority the GVN now places on the program, particularly in light of current budgetary constraints.

While it is true that the U.S. is still providing about half of the costs, this is largely the result of new equipment and material requirements to support increased numbers of Regional and Popular Forces. As these new U.S. dollar procurement requirements are met and the U.S. share is reduced to replacement requirements, the GVN will be carrying the greater share of pacification costs.


That concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman. I will be happy to answer any questions you or the committee members may have. {p.705}


{table to come}


{table to come} {p.706}


{table to come} {p.707}


{table to come} {p.708}


{table to come}



{Submitted February 18 1970,
hearings, page 88}:

Statement for the Record on the Development Aspects of Pacification and Development

(By Ambassador W. E. Colby)

Mr. Chairman: In my opening statement I noted that one of the major lessons learned over the years about the people’s war is that military security is not enough alone. The people want a voice in their destiny, an opportunity to earn a living, and something to live for. For this reason, the Government of Vietnam has made the political, economic, and social development of its people an integral part of their Pacification program. It is endeavoring to build a political base among the people by sharing power with them through a program of decentralization, of authority, resources, and opportunity. This process is by no means complete, but it has begun and it has produced the beginnings of a new spirit in the countryside. {p.709}


A. The central thrust of the Government of Vietnam’s development strategy over the past year and a half has been building effective, representative, and viable local government. The main focus has been on the village level which traditionally is the link between the central power and the people. It keeps important records, collects taxes, intercedes with higher officials, provides the necessary papers and channels government services to the people. In its recent history, however, the village has been merely an extension of the Palace; a vehicle to execute Saigon’s decrees and taxes. There has been a considerable reversal of this relationship as a result of various recent steps taken by the Vietnamese Government.

B. First, the village and hamlet election process, initiated in 1967, was completed. Exhibit A shows the status of elected government as of the present. As you can see, about 95% of the villages and 94% of the hamlets are now in the hands of the elected representatives of the people. The remaining elections could not be held because of security. At the outset of 1969, less than half of the villages and hamlets had elected governments.

C. The elective process will continue and expand in 1970. In the spring the Government is scheduling elections for those areas that held elections in 1967, and for those areas not yet having had elections because of security. Both village and hamlet officials have three-year terms. The Government also plans to have elections at the province level for the first time since 1965. Province Councils which now exist mainly as ceremonial posts, will be revitalized. The National Assembly has passed a bill that has been forwarded to the President for signature, calling for expanded authority for the Province Councils and elections in the spring.

D. An integral part of building local government is training those who run it. Last year, the Government began a major training program for local officials and their staffs at the National Training Center at Vung Tau. In 1969, the Center trained more than 31,000 officials and cadre operating at the village level. Exhibit B shows the number of people trained by category from the opening of the Center in 1966.

E. From 1966 to 1968 the Center was used only for training Rural Development Cadre. In 1969 it was broadened to include local officials, Popular Forces Platoon leaders, Armed Propaganda Teams, and People’s Self Defense (PSDF) organizers. In 1970, the Government plans to train more than 50,000.

F. The courses for local officials, partly technical, partly motivational, aim to develop a greater sense of leadership and professionalism. Senior officials of the Government address each class to emphasize the importance of the village officials in the total effort. The President himself addressed each graduating class of village and hamlet chiefs and gave them his personal assurance that they have real authority over local affairs.

G. Another element of the effort to develop local government involved strengthening its authority. Decree # 045 on April 1, 1969 revolutionized not only the village’s relationship to Saigon and interim bureaucratic levels but, most importantly, its relationship to the people. Decision-making powers were placed in the hands of the Village Council headed by the Village Chief. As shown on Exhibit C, two Deputy village Chiefs, one for security and the other for administration, were established together with several commissioners (the number varies according to the population) for agriculture and land affairs, education and social welfare, finance, taxation, and civil status. Within the village structure there are also hamlet governments, headed by elected Hamlet Management Boards. The Hamlet Chief also has two deputies as at village plus several assistants.

H. Significantly, as reflected on the organization chart, the Village Chief for the first time in history was given control over the Popular Force Platoon(s), the National Police, People’s Self Defense Forces, and the 30-man Rural Development Cadre Team(s) operating in the village. This has not yet been effectively implemented in all villages, but it has started.

I. There are also various budgetary reforms underway to permit the villages to retain a greater share of their revenues, and subsidies for those running a deficit are being improved. Village officials have been given a pay raise so they would not have to work at other jobs to support themselves and their families and to add to the prestige of office. In effect, the Village Chief is being made a manager of government at that level. Province and District Chiefs who formerly would by-pass the Village Chief now must work through him on many matters and will increasingly do so as further reforms are implemented. {p.710}


A. In addition to being able to vote and handle their own affairs, the people want a better life. This is a critical part of the political equation in a people’s war. It means a lot of national programs like land reform, miracle rice seeds, schools, health units and roads that USAID Director MacDonald will be discussing later in these hearings.

B. At the local level, in 1969 the Government for the first time granted each village with an elected government a development fund under a new program called Village Self-Development. The funds, one million piasters per village in 1969, were placed under control of the village council after a public vote of the people. In addition to enhancing the prestige of the councils, the program stimulated the active participation of the people. The government allocated nearly two billion piasters or about $17 million to the villages in this way last year, an average of $8,100 per village. In 1970 the allocations are made on the basis of population and amount to about two and a half billion piasters (over $20 million). A provision in the use of the funds is that the people must contribute to the projects they select either in the form of labor or money. Thus, the amount of activity generated is actually much greater than the amount of money budgeted. Moreover, the people are encouraged to select revenue generating projects, for example, small hand or motorized tractors.

C. The Village Self Development process has been modified and improved since its inception in 1969 as a result of experimentation with different local development techniques conducted in five pilot provinces over a two year period. The GVN completed this pilot program in the latter half of last year and incorporated many of its techniques into the 1970 Village Self Development program.

D. While the projects themselves are important, the principal result is the political cohesion that takes shape in a community from the interchange in public meetings about common problems and goals. The dialogue that takes place is one of hope: they have the means to do something about their problems themselves and they participate in the decisions.

E. Along lines similar to the Village Self Development program, the GVN is planning to establish a one billion piaster Province Council Development program following the election of new councils in 1970. The funds will be apportioned according to population and the decision-making authority will be vested in the councils themselves. Council members will solicit proposals from among their constituents and hold open public meetings during which the decisions will be made. Once selected, projects will be turned over to the Province Pacification and Development Councils for implementation. The primary significance of this program is that it will strengthen the power of these newly elected councils and enhance their prestige among the people as well as other elements of the province administration. Furthermore, it is hoped that the increased power will also attract more capable candidates to run for council seats. This is all part of the total development effort.


A. In addition to the development effort in rural areas, the Vietnamese Government is beginning to turn more of its attention to the urban masses that make up more than 40% of the total population.

B. Following the 1968 TET and May attacks, the first urban area, understandably, to receive increased Central Government’s attention was Saigon itself. The City of Saigon, encompassing over two million people in extremely high density, had been subjected to an almost continuous series of political, economic and military emergencies during the past 15 years. Shortages of financial resources and other bureaucratic problems had made it difficult for the Prefecture to provide even minimal services. In July of that year the GVN began developing a special program to generate political support among the Saigonese, especially in the poorer areas on the fringes of the City.

C. Building in large part on a successful community development program that was already operating in the City’s District 8, a program was designed to ameliorate some of the worst conditions, improve communications between the Prefecture and the local groups, and maintain minimum essential municipal services. The inadequate level of services in many places, poverty, and the absence of a meaningful GVN presence, made many areas susceptible to Viet Cong subversion and intimidation. It was necessary to develop not only an effective administrative structure, but also to involve the citizen in improving and protecting his neighborhood community. Thus, some of the early activities {p.711} included organizing neighborhood People’s Self Defense Forces and encouraging small self-help efforts toward community development. A Self-Help Housing Program was initiated to provide relief from the critical housing shortage brought on by the TET Offensive of 1968 and the influx of refugees. The program involves the establishment of local building councils, the pooling of land, labor, and capital. The principal thrust of the Saigon effort has been to get the people involved in working toward their mutual benefit. There are also larger improvements in health, sanitation, roads and education.

D. Since its inception, the Saigon effort has made significant headway. 276,000 PSDF members have been organized in the city, 43,000 of whom are armed. The self-help program, which provides small amounts of funds to permit the people themselves to improve their neighborhoods, has resulted in the completion of some 375 separate projects. The Self-Help Housing Program already mentioned has resulted in the construction of over 1,100 low cost houses. Another 2,400 houses are scheduled for completion in 1970. During 1969, the school-aged population enrolled in full-time classes increased from 69% to 73%, primarily the result of 67 new classrooms that were constructed. 19 of the city’s 28 health dispensaries have an annual caseload of 2.5 million out-patients. A program to build and repair 28 kilometers of small roads and pathways in the poorer areas of the city is also underway.

E. For this year, the GVN has promulgated an urban campaign annex to its basic Pacification and Development plan. Essentially the plan calls for extending those programs enjoying success in the rural areas to the urban areas. Specifically, the Village Self Development Program that last year was applied only in rural areas will be applied in cites as well. The Province Development Program that in 1969 channelled its resources into expansion of security in rural areas, now is available as well to the cities for infrastructural projects, such as street repair and building markets, The Rural Development Cadre in 1970 will have urban counterparts. The five autonomous cities will also have elections for Municipal Citizen’s Councils and these Councils will be eligible like the Province Councils for development funds.

F. The GVN Directorate of Reconstruction and Urban Planning has issued guidance to the Provincial and Municipal Reconstruction Services on how to approach urban development. Some activity is already evident. A land use survey is being conducted in Saigon and five such surveys have been completed in other urban areas.


A. Another part of the government’s effort aims at tackling development problems beyond the means of the people to solve themselves. A program called Province Development provides funds to carry out small-scale infrastructure projects in support of province pacification plans. For example, a province road that might be needed to facilitate access to remote villages. The objective is still essentially a political one in that the criteria used to determine fund allocations is the number of people benefited. Further, the program promotes political cohesion in a larger sense by opening roads and waterways to facilitate economic resurgence as well as the extension of government services.

Exhibit D is a breakout of the 1969 and 1970 Province Development allocations by area of activity. As can be seen, the bulk of the funds go into roads and bridges in both years. In 1969 this was the case because roads were needed to reach out into contested or newly secured areas. In 1970 roads are needed to consolidate the newly opened areas and to link up local communities with economic centers and the national community.

Exhibit E shows the breakouts for the same years by Corps. The Delta got the lion’s share in both years reflecting the priority attached to that heavily populated area by the GVN.

B. This program operates under a set of streamlined planning and implementation procedures. This is briefly the way it works: the Province Pacification and Development Council sends a request to the Central Pacification and Development Council for funds to implement a certain project, e.g., a province road. The Central Council sends a team down to the province to look at the proposed project, see how it fits into the province’s plan and determine whether or not the province has the capability to implement the project. On approval the funds are sent to the province and the province implements the project directly. {p.712}


A. The major lines of communication are the lifelines of a government engaged in a people’s war; without them the urban areas would be isolated pockets of control facing economic and political strangulation. The 1970 Combined (Military) Campaign Plan, AB-145, specifically charges military commanders in each of the area security zones to conduct operations to provide adequate security to open and protect roads and bridges, rail and waterways throughout the country.

B. Since 1969, the GVN has emphasized reopening or construction of economically important secondary roads, especially market roads in the rural areas. Since the farmer is reluctant to raise more produce than he can get to the market, the provision of safe, dependable routes from the countryside to town encourages him to increase production, thus stimulating the economy by providing more goods for sale and curtailing inflationary consumer competition for essential food items.


A. One of the tools used by the government in implementing its development strategy at the village level is the Rural Development Cadre. There are presently 47,000 cadres assigned in 30-man teams throughout the country. Some 7,200 of these are Highlander Cadre working among their people in the Central Highlands.

B. The Cadre Teams are armed, politically motivated government representatives who work and live directly with the people. As mentioned earlier, they operate under the direction and control of the Village Chief. The Cadre are political catalysts. They help the people organize self-defense and self-development activities.

C. Dependent upon needs in a particular community and the judgment of the Village Chief, they may assist in a variety of ways, such as agriculture, land reform teachers, public information, and health workers. Their paramilitary role is defensive rather than offensive in nature. In addition to providing a measure of defense for the villagers by virtue of their presence, they help organize and train People’s Self Defense Forces so that the people can protect themselves.

D. The Cadre and the People’s Self Defense Force they have helped organize and train are an increasingly significant element. The People’s Self Defense program is discussed in detail in the statement on security. Their contribution to local security is not the sole value; the political commitment is equally significant. The People’s Self Defense Force interest to protect family and property coincides with the government’s own interest in obtaining support from the people against those who would tax and terrorize in the dark of night.


A. Mr. Edward J. Nickel will discuss the GVN’s information program fully later in these hearings. The information program is an essential element of Pacification and Development, informing and stimulating all citizens to participate in a national effort. To do so, the usual media techniques of radio, TV, leaflets, etc., are being supplemented by a new program to utilize all government workers, military personnel and others such as People’s Self Defense Force to carry the word orally to the people and their families and to report back their reactions. This program is just starting, and has not yet shown results.


The Vietnamese have moved impressively on political, economic, and social development at the local levels as well as the national. The process continues. As more and more responsibility and power are shifted from the Palace into the hands of the people, as the people learn more about how to handle their own affairs, more decentralization will be possible and desirable. What I have described is the beginning, but it clearly points up the strategy of mobilizing and relying on the people to participate in an independent and self-sufficient Vietnam. {p.713}

31 DEC 69

{table to come} {p.714}


{table to come} {p.715}


{table to come}


{table to come}


{table to come}




{Submitted February 19 1970,
hearings, page 252}:

Statement for the Record on the Security Aspects of Pacification and Development

(By Ambassador W. E. Colby)


A. Importance

1. Security is an essential element of Pacification and Development. It has been repeatedly demonstrated in Vietnam that sustained, credible security must be the first step in the pacification and development process. While security is only one of the major concerns facing the average Vietnamese citizen, it is undoubtedly his primary concern. It is too much to ask the average citizen to make a sustained commitment to programs of social, economic or political improvement until he is confident that he can reasonably insure the safety of his family.

2. The Communists have consistently attempted to demonstrate to the Vietnamese people that their government is incapable of providing its citizens with personal security, even with foreign assistance. This policy forms a key part in the Communists’ effort to achieve their ultimate objective — the political control of South Vietnam. At various times the Communists have tried to occupy the rural areas, with their own military forces, to cause death and destruction by directly attacking populated areas protected by government forces, or by provoking exceptionally destructive responses by government forces to Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army actions. This combination of tactics was calculated to discredit the South Vietnamese Government both at home and, abroad; it has always been a keystone in the overall Communist military political strategy.

B. Three Levels

In the People’s War in Vietnam, security must be maintained on three levels: Military, Territorial, and Internal, each dealing with a specific element, of the Communist threat.

1. Military security.—Military security, or the task of shielding the populated areas from Communist main forces, and at the same time seeking to eliminate them permanently as a threat to national security, is the task of the Vietnamese regular forces. These forces are advised and assisted by the Military Advisory element of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and are supplemented by U.S. and other Free World combat units. Dealing with the Communist main force units is not a part of Pacification, but is a necessary prerequisite to it. In many situations, when enemy main forces are not an immediate threat, these U.S. allied and ARVN regular units actively engage in local security and pacification operations, but their principal mission remains protection against enemy main forces.

2. Territorial security.—Territorial security, or the task of providing the populated areas with security from Communist local forces and guerrilla units is assigned to the Vietnamese Territorial Security Forces, assisted by the People’s Self Defense Forces. The citizen must be permanently protected in his neighborhood, which requires a broad dispersal of these forces in small units so that the guerrilla meets opposition wherever he attacks. This is an integral element of pacification and provides an environment in which other Pacification and Development Programs can be safely and successfully implemented.

3. Internal Security.—Internal security, or the task of protecting the people from the Viet Cong Infrastructure, terrorists, and other harassment is assigned to the National Police, assisted by the People’s Self Defense Forces and supported by all military and civilian agencies through the Phung Hoang or Phoenix Program.


The Territorial Security Forces of the Republic of Vietnam are the Regional Forces (RF) and the Popular Forces (PF). The RF and PF are advised by military personnel on the CORDS Province and District Advisory Teams, and by special US Army or Marine units such as the Mobile Advisory Teams (MATs) and the Combined Action Platoons (CAPs). These teams also assist in the provision of fire support, air support and medical evacuation by US forces when necessary.

A. Regional forces (RF)

1. Mission.— ¶

(a) The mission of the Regional Forces is to protect the people in the pacification areas from enemy local forces and guerrilla units by conducting operations in the areas between the villages. They provide an outer security shield for the village defense forces, and maintain ready reaction forces to reinforce the {p.717} Popular Forces and People’s Self Defense Forces in the event they are attacked by superior enemy forces. The RF also assist the National Police in establishing and maintaining internal security by participating in the Phung Hoang program, and assist the Popular Forces and Rural Development Cadre to train the People’s Self Defense Force. They are, in the present emergency, full-time, uniformed soldiers fully integrated into the national armed forces. They are under the control of and are paid and supported by the Ministry of National Defense.

(b) As part of the Government of Vietnam taking over a greater share of the prosecution of the war, the 1970 Pacification and Development Plan calls for priority relief by Regional Force units of Vietnamese Regular Army units assigned to territorial security missions in the populated areas so that the latter can be redeployed to combat enemy main forces in the sparsely populated areas. This in turn is designed to reduce the requirement for US and other Free World combat units presently required for this purpose.

2. Strength.— ¶

(a) Growth: The Regional Forces have expanded from about 150,000 in 1967 to about 260,000 men in December 1969. The basic unit of organization is the rifle company consisting of 123 officers and men. Additional RF will be activated in the first six months of 1970, some newly recruited and some by converting Civilian Irregular Defense Groups, a border defense force advised by the US Army Special Forces, into RF Companies.

(b) Recruitment and deployment: RF Companies are recruited from specific provinces, and are assigned for service in those provinces following basic training. The Regional Forces serve any place within the province, as assigned by the Province Chief. They may be deployed as individual companies under the direct command of the Province Chief/Sector Commander or the District Chief/Subsector Commander, or they may be deployed in multi-company groups under command of a group headquarters, which in turn answers to the District Chief or Province Chief, depending on local requirements. Thirteen Regional Force Battalions have been formed for performance of special missions assigned by the Corps Commanders, such as the defense of vital installations and airfields.

3. Equipment.—For the past year, the Regional Forces have been benefiting from the improvement and modernization program implemented by the Government of Vietnam with US support. This program aims at improving the effectiveness of the RF not only by increasing its authorized strength to a level commensurate with the requirements of the tasks assigned it, but by improving training, leadership and equipment. During 1969, substantial gains were made in RF equipment. By end-December, 94 percent of 200,000 M-16 rifles authorized had been issued, plus all of the 11,000 AN-PRC-25 radios scheduled; 99 percent of 3,300 60mm mortars; 78 percent of the M60 machine guns; 76 percent of the 23,563 M79 grenade launchers, and 69 percent of the one-ton trucks.

4. Training.—The Regional Forces soldier receives the same individual training as ARVN personnel. Each recruit receives five weeks of basic training and four weeks of advanced individual training. Individual RF soldiers are eligible to attend all leadership and specialist courses. In addition to individual training Regional Force rifle companies receive five weeks of Company Basic Unit training, and five weeks of refresher training every three years. Each Regional Force, Company is supposed to conduct at least six hours of in-place training each week.

5. Operations.— ¶

(a) Tactical: ¶

(1) Regional Force Companies conduct operations against VC local forces and guerrilla units in and around the pacification area, particularly in the uninhabited areas between the villages, with the following objectives:

(a) To strike enemy forces in the territory surrounding the pacification areas.

(b) To prevent the incursion of enemy forces into the secure areas and the areas undergoing pacification, either by day or night.

(c) To reinforce the Popular Forces and People’s Self Defense Forces in the event of enemy attack.

(d) To protect important installations and LOCs throughout their assigned area of operations.

(2) Regional Force operations vary in size from small ambushes and patrols to multi-company operations lasting several days or longer. They may be conducted by the RF alone, or in conjunction with ARVN or US main force units, or Popular Forces and People’s Self Defense Force. Since the enemy frequently uses darkness to cloak his movement, night operations, particularly patrols and ambushes protecting the approaches to the populated areas are constantly emphasized by all {p.718} command echelons. In 1969, Regional Force operations resulted in about 23,000 enemy killed and 9,600 weapons captured, at a cost of 5,647 RF killed, 23,065 wounded, and 2,040 RF weapons lost.

(b) Internal security: The Regional Forces participate in Phung Hoang operations against the Viet Cong Infrastructure. These operations are planned arid coordinated by the local Phung Hoang organizations, principally the District Intelligence and Operations Coordinating Centers (DIOCCs) and the Province Centers (PIOCCs). They may involve Regional Forces alone, or operating in conjunction with Popular, People’s Self Defense, or Regular Forces in support of the National Police.

(c) Civic action: Regional Force units are required to conduct civic action operations, particularly to improve the social and economic situation of people in newly opened or resettled communities.

B. Popular forces (PF)

1. Mission.— ¶

(a) The mission of the Popular Forces is to provide close-in protection to the people in the villages undergoing pacification, to maintain security in the areas already pacified, and to assist the National Police in maintaining law and order in the secure areas. They provide an inner security shield for the hamlet population, in conjunction with the village combat Self Defense Forces. The Popular Forces also assist the National Police in establishing and maintaining internal security by participating in the Phung Hoang Program. They assist the Rural Development Cadre in training the People’s Self Defense Forces, assuming primary responsibility for this mission in villages and hamlets which have no Cadre assigned. The Popular Forces are, like the Regional Forces, full-time, uniformed soldiers who have been fully integrated into the Armed Forces for the duration of the present emergency. They are under the control of and are paid and supported by the Ministry of National Defense.

(b) The 1970 Pacification and Development Plan calls for Popular Forces to take over maintenance of security from Regional Force Companies to the extent possible. By taking over the maximum possible share of the territorial security role, Popular Forces release Regional Forces for service in less secure areas, in turn releasing regular ARVN units for combat in the sparsely populated areas, presently being undertaken by US or Free World combat units.

2. Strength.— ¶

(a) Growth: Since 1967, the Popular Forces have expanded from about 150,000 to 215,000 men in December 1969. The unit of organization is the rifle platoon of 35 men and PF do not have larger units. During 1969, the number of activated Popular Force Rifle Platoons increased by 1,000. Additional platoons will be activated in the first six months of this year.

(b) Recruitment and deployment: PF Platoons are recruited from specific areas within the province and generally serve in their home villages following basic training. The Popular Forces have in 1969 been placed under the operational control of the Village Chief to deploy them throughout the village in accordance with the Village Defense Plan. In many areas, District Chiefs still maintain direct control of PF Platoons, however.

3. Equipment.—The Popular Forces participate with the Regional Forces in the Government’s Improvement and Modernization Program. 98 percent of almost 200,000 M16 rifles authorized for the Popular Forces have been issued. PF Platoons are also being issued M79 grenade launchers and AN/PRC-25 radios to replace obsolete equipment presently in use.

4. Training.—Popular Force training is conducted at 14 PF Training Centers throughout the country. PF recruit training consists of five weeks basic combat training and four weeks advanced individual training. Individual PF soldiers are eligible to attend special PF leadership and specialist training courses conducted at the PF Training Centers. Newly activated PF Platoons receive a three-week Platoon Basic Unit Training Course prior to deployment. Selected PF platoons receive refresher courses at PF Training Centers. Each PF Platoon is supposed to conduct a minimum of six hours in-place training each week.

5. Operations.— ¶

(a) Tactical: ¶

(1) Popular Force Platoons conduct operations to defend the hamlets from VC Local Force and Guerrilla units, particularly by patrolling and ambushing in the outskirts during the hours of darkness:

(a) To intercept enemy forces or terrorists and prevent their incursion into the residential areas.

(b) To reinforce the People’s Self Defense Force in the event of enemy attack.

(c) To secure important installations and LOCs within the hamlets.

(2) Popular Force operations vary in size from patrols and ambushes of squad size or less up to participation by one or several platoons in joint operations with {p.719} Regional or Regular units. In 1969, Popular Force operations resulted in over 14,000 enemy killed and 5,400 weapons captured, at a cost of 4,233 PF killed, 8,942 wounded, and 1,797 PF weapons lost.

(b) Internal security:

The Popular Forces participate in Phung Hoang operations against the Viet Cong Infrastructure which are planned and coordinated by the District Intelligence and Operations Coordinating Center (DIOCC). The PF also assist the National Police to maintain law and order in the community. The Popular Forces play a key part in protecting the people from terrorism by detecting and intercepting terrorists attempting to infiltrate the hamlet, and by immediately reacting alone or with the PSDF to VC terrorist incidents.


A. Mission

The mission of the People’s Self Defense Forces is to defend their communities against infiltration by small armed enemy units; to detect and deter enemy terrorists and saboteurs; and to promote community improvement by full participation in local self-development programs. The members serve without pay on a part-time basis. They are organized on a community basis and take their orders from their Village Chief. As the PSDF becomes capable of defending their community with less and less assistance from the Regional and Popular Forces particularly in the more secure areas, more and more Regional Force Companies and Popular Force Platoons can be redeployed to strengthen pacification efforts in the less secure areas, and to extend pacification to less populated areas presently defended by regular combat units.

B. Strength

The People’s Self Defense Force owes its origin to the 1968 Tet offensive, when thousands of people petitioned the government for arms to help defend their lives and property from Viet Cong attack. In response, the government established the PSDF under provisions of the 1968 Mobilization Law. At end-1969, the PSDF was divided into “combat” members, trained to use weapons, and “support” members, providing first aid, runners, etc. The Mobilization Law required that all men between the ages of 16 and 50 participate in the defense of their country. Under this law, any man in that age bracket who is not a member of. the armed forces, is required to belong to the combat PSDF in his community. To these are added volunteers from the elderly, young people from 12 to 15, and women, who are the “support” forces. “Membership” in PSDF is somewhat imprecise, so the 3,000,000 members are not a firm statistic, but the issuance of some 400,000 weapons to the combat PSDF is reliable and confirmed by spot checks in the countryside. 1970 plans include issuing an additional 300,000 weapons, and expanding the “combat” PSDF to 1.5 million members.

C. Training

1. Interteams.—During 1970, about 500,000 combat PSDF are planned to be organized into about 15,000 35-man units, at least one for every secure hamlet. Each member of these units will be armed, and will receive special training from Vietnamese Mobile Training Teams. About 60,000 PSDF leaders will receive special training at Popular Force Training Centers. As these units complete their training, they will systematically take over assignments presently tasked to the Popular Forces — primarily maintaining the most secure areas, and defensive duties within their capabilities, such as the defense of bridges, public facilities, and intra-village roads. The remaining combat PSDF will continue to receive training from the Rural Development Cadre and Popular Force Platoons assigned to their villages and will share the weapons issued to them.

2. Nonmilitary training.—The PSDF will continue to receive training from the Rural Development Cadre, and from the village technical cadre on the practical aspects of their involvement in political and economic development programs.

D. Operations

1. Local security.—PSDF security operations primarily involve helping to guard the immediate approaches to the hamlet in order to intercept and engage enemy ground forces, or terrorists seeking to enter the hamlet at night. As indicated above, PSDF will also replace PF Platoons in certain defensive activities within the more secure areas.

2. Internal security.—The PSDF assist in the Phung Hoang program by identifying members of the Viet Cong Infrastructure, and by detecting and preventing attempted acts of terrorism or sabotage within the community. {p.720}

3. Development.— (a) Social and economic: In addition to their contribution to community defense, the PSDF form the backbone of the community self development in their villages and hamlets. They participate in local efforts to improve the social and economic status of their communities. The political significance of this involvement in the life of the community is considered by the Viet Cong to be a greater threat to their objectives than the military threat posed by the arms they hold.

E. Political significance

1. The People’s Self Defense Force provides an outlet for the growing spirit of nationalism among the Vietnamese people. It has a common insignia, simple objectives which are both practical and popular, and a program which allows all ages, sexes, religions and ethnic groups to participate, stimulating community spirit, and contributing to the common defense. At the same time it is a locally-based organization, without hierarchy or superstructure. It is by its very nature almost exclusively Vietnamese, with very little US advisory participation.

2. The decision to arm the people was initially questioned by some Vietnamese officials. The President and Prime Minister, however, took the position that it was only by showing this kind of confidence in the people that the People’s War could be effectively fought. The act of giving and receiving a weapon constitutes a double act of faith on the parts of the Government and the citizen. Each makes a public commitment to the other. This commitment has been recognized and is feared by the Viet Cong. Instances have been recorded in which the Viet Cong urged the people, not to surrender their weapons to the VC, nor to destroy them, but to openly return them to the Government, thus rupturing the bond and revoking the commitment. The Communists have identified the PSDF as a major threat, the beginnings of a true people’s army and a locally based political force for the future. As a result, they have repeatedly attacked it and tried to destroy it, but the PSDF have generally (not always) stood their ground, fully validating the Government’s confidence.


A. Components and missions

1. General.—The primary responsibility of the National Police is to maintain law and order throughout the populated areas of Vietnam. In addition, the National Police is the agency charged with the primary responsibility for protecting the people from the Viet Cong Infrastructure. The National Police are advised by CORDS Public Safety Advisors at the national, Corps and province levels.

2. Uniformed police.—Uniformed Police perform functions similar to their American town or city counterparts. They represent the law in the neighborhoods to which they are assigned. In addition to maintaining general order, they direct traffic, participate in the control of resources, assist in preparing judicial cases against criminal suspects, and provide personnel for customs and immigration duty, operating communications networks, implementing the National Identity Registration Program, securing public installations, and similar duties.

3. Special police.—The Special Police are responsible for collecting, collating and evaluating intelligence pertaining to the Viet Cong Infrastructure, and coordinating available information with Phung Hoang Centers at various levels. The Special Police also react to intelligence collection requirements levied by the Phung Hoang Centers.

4. National police field forces (NPFF).—The National Police Field Forces are the paramilitary action arm of the National Police. They are responsible for protecting the people from terrorism by conducting police operations against the Viet Cong Infrastructure. The NPFF participate in anti-infrastructure operations generated by Province Phung Hoang Centers (PIOCCs) and by District Intelligence and Operations Coordinating Centers (DIOCCs). They may operate alone or in conjunction with military units. Once the Viet Cong Infrastructure had been driven from an area, the NPFF has the primary responsibility of preventing a resurgence. The final mission of the NPFF is to safeguard the extension of the uniformed National Police presence into the rural areas.

5. Provincial reconnaissance units (PRU) .—Provincial Reconnaissance Units are small platoon and company sized units operating under the control of Province Chiefs against the VC Infrastructure as a part of the Phung Hoang (Phoenix) operation. They are funded by the United States but in 1969 were placed under the national control of the Director General of National Police, and a Vietnamese Army officer was designated as national commander. The mission of the PRU is to collect intelligence on and conduct operations against the VC Infrastructure as directed by Province Chiefs. {p.721}

6. Marine police.—The Marine Police are charged with maintaining security. and law and order, and controlling resources on the inland waterways and in the ports and harbors of Vietnam.

B. Strength

1. Police forces.—During 1969, the number of National Police rose from a low of 76,330 to 85,218. Of these 45,558 are assigned to duty as uniformed police (including 1,762 Marine Police); 15,454 as Special Police; 15,113 as Field Force Police. Some 9,229 are transferees from the Armed Forces, who are in training status and have not yet received their assignments. Plans call for the expansion of the National Police to 122,000 in 1970, including the transfer of an additional 3,771 military personnel.

2. Provincial reconnaissance units.—The current strength of the PRU is 4,454 men. The PRU are organized into 18-man units made up of three 6-man teams. The number of 18-man units assigned to a province varies according to the status of pacification, the size of the population, and the strength and concentration of the Viet Cong Infrastructure. The size of Provincial Units thus varies at present from 18 to 220 men.

C. Training

A major problem facing the National Police is expansion of its training capabilities to meet the requirements of recent and planned expansion. To solve this, the capacity of the Basic Training Facility at Vung Tau has been increased from 2,000 to 5,000 students by construction of 66 additional buildings during the last four months of 1969. In addition to the normal 12-week course, a shorter 8-week course has been adopted to train recruits with prior military service. 3,093 of the 13,000 transferees from the armed forces completed the course in late December 1969. An additional 4,643 is currently in training. To meet the demand for more qualified leadership, the National Police Academy provides professional and supervisory training. The first classes completed their six-month courses in December 1969. Courses will also be initiated for command level officials (Commissioners). Plans also call for increased emphasis on the Advanced Training Program for lower level supervisory personnel which graduated 1,661 students in 1969, and the specialized programs for training National Police Field Forces and Marine Police, which graduated 7,815 and 572, respectively, last year.

D. Operations

1. Village police.—A major effort was made to establish a police presence in the rural villages during 1969. Prior to November 1968, there were only 140 Sub-District Police Stations scattered throughout the country. By the end of 1969, 6,000 National Police had been assigned to 1,600 villages. The 1970 Pacification and Development Plan calls for the assignment of from 6 to 18 police in each secure village, according to population, by the end of the year. National Police assigned to a village are under the operational control of the Village Chief.

2. Resources control.—National Police resources control efforts resulted in nearly 100,000 arrests during the year, including more than 10,000 VC and VC suspects, 4,000 ARVN deserters, and 35,000 draft evaders. Confiscations included over 1,000 land mines, grenades, plastic explosives and other ordnance, along with 50,000 units of medicines/drugs and 6,000 tons of contraband foodstuffs.

3. National identity registration program.—The National Identity Registration Program involves issuing tamper-proof identification cards to all citizens 15 years of age and over. More than 3,000,000 persons were registered during 1969. In the process, the Identification and Record Service was able to identify, through fingerprint checks, 8,414 wanted persons, including 6,820 military deserters, 928 wanted on a variety of criminal charges, 609 draft dodgers and 57 Viet Cong suspects. 1970 plans call for registration of an additional six million individuals.

4. Combined telecommunications directorate (CTD).—The National Police have the primary responsibility for the Combined Telecommunication Directorate which operates a fast effective telecom system to all provinces, cities and districts within South Vietnam. The system now passes over 2.5 million messages annually for the police, other civil security agencies and most other civil administrative and technical agencies on a common user basis. It is also responsible for maintaining and servicing the 47,000 radios in the Village/Hamlet Radio System, which provides communications between the villages and hamlets and higher administrative headquarters. The CTD also supports the 12,000 radios in the National Police Radio Telephone System. The new CTD fixed station, multichannel VHF system provides teletype and dial telephone service for official communication between Saigon and My Tho and Can Tho in the South and to Bien Hoa in the North. A total of 343 students were graduated from the CTD Training School at Thu Duc. {p.722} Training of an additional 500 Regional and Popular Force personnel for service throughout the system was initiated in January 1970.

5. Marine operations.—Operating from 15 bases, Marine Police now patrol 700 kilometers of waterways. During 1969, they searched over 400,000 craft and examined nearly three million people. As a result, 32 craft were impounded; 2,371 people were arrested and their contraband cargoes confiscated.

E. Corrections and detentions

The National Police and Directorate of Corrections receive advisory support and commodity assistance for the improvement and better security of detention and correction centers. In FY 1970 the total cost to the US of this effort, including salaries, training and commodities is $253,000.


A. Purpose

The Phung Hoang or Phoenix program is designed to protect the people from Communist terrorism by securing information about the Viet Cong Infrastructure, identifying the individuals that make it up, and conducting operations against them. In order to insure complete restoration of security in the Republic, it is the Government’s stated policy “...to completely eliminate the Viet Cong Infrastructure by capturing as many as possible, while the lenient rehabilitation policy aims at releasing as many as possible.” (Ministry of Interior Decree 757, 21 March 1969)

B. Organization

All elements of the government participate in the Phung Hoang program through a series of Phung Hoang Committees whose function is to direct the program at their respective levels from central to district. It is the responsibility of the Phung Hoang Committee, or the District Intelligence and Operation Coordinating Center (DIOCC), as it is called at district level, to coordinate the activities of the various military and civil agencies involved. It supervises the orderly collection, collation and distribution of information on individual members of the VCI and plans operations against identified Viet Cong operatives, using the appropriate police, military or paramilitary forces. These centers are advised by US personnel.

C. Popular participation

To give the people a clear understanding of the program, its methods and objectives, and to enlist their support for the program, the President ordered, in the fall of 1969, a public information campaign to explain to the people what Phung Hoang was, why it was necessary, at whom the program aimed, and how the people could participate. This campaign is still in its early stages. In some areas it has produced encouraging results. Private citizens have identified local communist leaders wanted by the Government. In other cases, local citizens have induced relatives or acquaintances in the Viet Cong to seek reconciliation through the Chieu Hoi program.


A. Interaction

These programs interact to provide security for pacification at the various levels on which the enemy fights this People’s War. The Regular Forces fight on the military level, the Regional and Popular Forces on the territorial level, and the police and Phung Hoang on the internal security level. Underlying all and providing the necessary injection of the people into the effort is the People’s Self Defense Force. These forces are integrated and pursue common plans worked out at the village, district, province and national levels. Forces are allocated, supporting fires are arranged, and plans for employment are developed. Great improvements have been made in coordinated planning and allocation of resources through the operations of the Pacification and Development Council, and each province and sub-division has a specific plan for the extension and improvement of security during the coming year.

B. Obstacles

There are of course many obstacles ahead. North Vietnamese in units and as individual fillers are infiltrating into the country and must be fought off. On occasion the Popular Force Platoon takes refuge in its outpost rather than actively patrols in the night. Knowledge of the complicated apparatus of the VC Infrastructure is still imperfect and important VC leaders slip through the fingers of the police and Phung Hoang forces. There are individual problems of leadership {p.723} at various levels and there are cases in which doctrine and directives are not followed on the ground. There is dependence on US support and reliance upon a US shield in many areas. All these are real problems which must be faced and overcome by the Vietnamese in order that the Pacification and Development program may provide security to the population.

C. The Future

Over the past two years, there has been a substantial strengthening of all the tools with which the Government and the people of Vietnam are fighting this war, and at the same time there has been a weakening on the Communist side. The war is not over; it will involve much hard work and some setbacks, but the structure is there. The Vietnamese at the low, as well as the high level, are in good part endeavoring to make it work so that they may take on more of the burden of holding off the enemy.



{Submitted February 20 1970,
hearings, page 318}:

Statement for the Record on the Phung Hoang Program (Phoenix)

(By Ambassador W. E. Colby)

Mr. Chairman: The Phung Hoang (“Phoenix”) program of the Government of South Vietnam is designed to protect the Vietnamese people from terrorism, and political, paramilitary, economic and subversive pressure from the Communist clandestine organization in South Vietnam. This organization, known as the Viet Cong Infrastructure, or VCI, is the leadership and control core of the Communist campaign. The Communists try to keep it intact to deliver a political victory, if they are defeated militarily or choose as a tactic to sue for peace.


A. History

At the end of the 1945-54 war, the Communists took about 75,000 native southerners north for training in organizing, propaganda and subversion. During the late 1950’s these cadre returned to their southern provinces and districts. There they revived the networks they had left in 1954, organized the population into farmers’ groups, women’s organizations and youth groups and began to recruit and train and establish bases for guerrilla groups.

By 1960 this process was sufficiently advanced so that the Vietnamese Communists proceeded to establish formal political structures. Thus the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam was founded in 1960, to be followed in 1962 by the People’s Revolutionary Party, a separate southern branch of the Lao Dong (Communist) Party of North Vietnam, in 1968 by the Alliance of National Democratic and Peace Forces, in 1968 by the establishment of Revolutionary or Liberation Committees as pretended local governments rather than simply political bodies, and finally in 1969 by the pretended Provisional Government of South Vietnam. Together all of these organizations and their local manifestations make up the VC Infrastructure.

B. Function

The VCI is an essential and integral element of the effort to overthrow and replace the Government of Vietnam. In the Communist doctrine of the People’s War, the VCI is the leadership structure of the Communist insurgency. It constitutes its political, administrative, supply and recruitment apparatus. The VCI supports military operations of VC and North Vietnamese Army Units by providing guides, caches of food, clothing, weapons, medical supplies and other war materials, logistics support, and by directing and implementing a systematic campaign of terrorism, extortion, subversion, sabotage, abduction and murder to achieve Communist objectives.

C. Strength

The estimated strength of the VCI at the end of 1969 was approximately 74,000. (This estimate is very rough and is derived from the numbers of known VCI and interpolation of data on the organizational pattern of the People’s Revolutionary Party and the cadre structure of the VCI.)

D. Methods

During the period when the Vietnamese government was unable to successfully oppose the Communist insurgency in the countryside, the VC were able to extort support with a minimum of overt terrorist activity, directed at local representatives of the government, or private citizens who were, for one reason or another, {p.724} unpopular with the local population. The rural people had little alternative but to acquiesce to the demands of local VC cadre. In these circumstances, the implication or latent threat of force alone was sufficient to insure that the people would comply with Communist demands. The local farmer could see the armed guerrillas, the local forces and the North Vietnamese Army units. He could not see a counterbalance to that force representing the national government. The necessarily slow process of political fencemending, called pacification, only gradually began to re-establish the government presence and to introduce that long absent counterbalance.

With the defeat of the Communist main force units in the 1968 offensive, the subsequent growth of security in the countryside, the expansion of the Regional and Popular Forces and their continually widening deployment, and the arming of the people through the People’s Self Defense program, the people were provided with an alternative. It became more and more difficult for the VCI to extort the food, clothing, money, recruits and services required to sustain their insurgency from a rapidly decreasing population base. VC “recruiting” agents who had formerly been able to fill the ranks under” the guise of giving the head of the family an opportunity to “volunteer” a son or daughter to fight for “freedom” now had to resort to outright kidnapping of adolescent children. VC tax collectors had to resort to methods amounting to armed robbery to fill their coffers. VC terrorists who had formerly “tried and executed” local administrators appointed by the government were now publicly murdering hamlet and village officials elected by their neighbors.

E. Terrorism

In 1969 alone, the Viet Cong infrastructure murdered more than 6,000 officials and ordinary citizens in South Vietnam, including 23 village chiefs, 126 hamlet chiefs, 229 refugees and 4,350 private citizens. In the same period the VCI wounded over 15,000 and kidnapped more than 6,000 people from among the civilian population. The purpose of the Phung Hoang program is to protect the people of South Vietnam from this terror.


A. Legal basis of the program

The Phung Hoang program was formally established by Presidential Decree on 1 July 1968 which defined the VCI target and established Phung Hoang committees from central down to district level.

From a legal standpoint, members of the VCI are subject to two legal procedures:

1. Prosecution for crimes against national security. These involve full judicial proceedings in military courts, and result in criminal convictions to sentences in accordance with law.

2. Administrative detention under emergency powers. These are similar to emergency measures used by other countries such as Malaya, Kenya and the Philippines during period of insurgency or national emergency. (See also U.S. Code Title 50, Section 812 et seq.) Detention is determined by a Province Security Committee, comprising the Province Chief, the Province Judge, the Chairman of the Provisional Council and other officials.

Ministry of Interior Decree 757 of 21 March 1969 provided specific definitions of classes of Communist offenders and outlined the appropriate periods of detention, depending upon their party status and responsibilities. The preamble to this decree stated “the government policy is to completely eliminate the VCI by capturing as many as possible, while the lenient rehabilitation policy aims at releasing as many as possible.”

B. Forces

The Phung Hoang program has national, corps, provincial and district committee levels. The national chairman is the Minister of Interior and Secretary General is the Director General of the National Police. Its membership contains representatives from the Defense Ministry, the Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) Ministry, the Rural Development Ministry, the Military Security Service of the Army, the Special Police Branch, the Police Field Forces and the Joint General Staff. The composition at each of the lesser committee levels is essentially the same. While all elements of the government participate in the Phung Hoang program, a leading role is played by the National Police with the support of the Special Police, National Police Field Force (NPFF) and the Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs). The military participates in the Phung Hoang program through its intelligence and security services and through the operations of its Regular, {p.725} Regional and Popular Forces. The People’s Self Defense Force, the RD cadre, the Information Services, local officials and all other elements of the government further contribute to the effort.

The Provincial Reconnaissance Units were developed and funded by the United States to conduct operations against the VCI. They first functioned under the Authority of the GVN Joint General Staff. On 31 March 1969, by Decree 044-SL/NV, the PRU was designated a police program controlled by the Director General of National Police, and an ARVN officer was assigned as National Commander. While the PRU is still funded by the United States, plans are in progress for the transition of the PRU to full GVN funding and support. In each province the PRU is controlled by the province chief, with a subordinate province PRU commander who is in most instances an ARVN officer.

C. U.S. role

The U.S. role with respect to Phung Hoang is one of advice and assistance. This relationship is maintained by CORDS under COMUSMACV. American Phung Hoang officers are present in most District Operations Centers and U.S. staffs are present at province and at the national level, to work with the appropriate GVN Phung Hoang committees at those levels. These officers work closely with their Vietnamese counterparts in the Province Operations Centers/District Operation Centers, which operate on a 24-hour basis, receiving, collating verifying and coordinating intelligence on the VCI from all sources on the one hand, and on the other hand facilitating the exploitation of the intelligence by the various action arms of the Phoenix program.

The U.S. officers also obtain and coordinate U.S. technical, material and fire support for the Province and District Operations Centers and its action arms. Most of the American personnel are military. In addition to those American personnel working directly with Phung Hoang committees and DIOCCs, other American personnel are closely involved with many of the GVN services participating in the program, such as the military, the police and others.

On 15 October 1969, a memorandum (copy attached) was distributed to members of the Phung Hoang U.S. staff and forwarded for inclusion in the training of Phung Hoang advisors in Vietnam and at Fort Holabird, Maryland. It pointed out that the Phung Hoang program against the VCI is an inherent part of the war effort in Vietnam and that U.S. personnel are under the same legal and moral constraints with respect to operations under this program as with respect to military operations against enemy units in the field.

D. Procedures

The key element of the Phung Hoang program is the District Intelligence and Operations Coordinating Center (DIOCC). This is a center established at each of the 250-odd districts of Vietnam to serve as a central point of information and coordination of operations against the VCI. Its chairman is the district chief, and its membership consists of all the services which have information on the VCI or conduct operations against them. Thus, the National Police, the military, the Chieu Hoi service, Rural Development cadre and others provide to this center such information as they have on the VCI. The center collates this material and develops from it lists of VCI in the neighborhood, organizational charts and operational plans and targets. There are similar Phung Hoang committees at province, regional and national levels, and some village officials are beginning to collate information on the VCI in their village.

To reduce the threat of the VCI, the GVN has established VCI operational goals for the Phung Hoang agencies in each geographic area of South Vietnam. These goals are based on the estimated strength of the VCI, local security situations and the capabilities of the various GVN agencies. These goals can be met by counting VCI who rally or are induced to rally, those who are captured and sentenced and those who are killed in the course of security operations. The desirability of capturing VCI is stressed, for the intelligence and other values they can offer. Hoi Chanh frequently provide important intelligence and their information serves as the basis of many operations.

In order to single out key personnel for primary attention, Phung Hoang guidance for both 1969 and 1970 has designated certain VCI elements for priority attention. These include, in addition to all personnel operating at district level or above, specialists assigned to these four key components of the Viet Cong organization:

Revolutionary Committees Current Affairs Committees {p.726}

Security Sections, and

Finance and Economy Sections

In addition, the 1970 Pacification and Development Plan, the goals have been made more sophisticated, requiring a percentage of the goal of those VCI neutralized to consist of previously identified VCI, rather than those whose status is only revealed during interrogation or search after capture or death. Also, VCI captured can only be credited toward the goal after they have actually been sentenced to the appropriate administrative detention or criminal conviction, and specific goals will be stated for higher level VCI, rather than permitting the entire goal to be met with lower level VCI. The effect of these changes is to place emphasis on the arrest and detention of higher level, previously identified VCI.

E. Popular Participation

The government took an important step in October 1969, when it decided to mobilize the people in the attack on the Viet Cong infrastructure. Under the slogan of “protection of the people against terrorism,” the GVN has publicized the program, the enemy against which it is aimed, and the assistance the average citizen can give it. In addition to general explanations, local Phung Hoang activities have been explained in more specific terms, in leaflets and posters featuring photographs of the neighborhood VCI. In a number of cases this has resulted in capture of a wanted person through information provided by the public, or in the individual turning himself in as a Hoi Chanh because of the pressure generated against him.

F. Justice

The government has also taken positive steps to insure justice in the implementation of the program. In Ministry of Interior Decree 2212 of 20 August 1969, a detailed procedure was established by which information would be assembled and recorded to warrant the arrest of the individual VCI. The 1970 Pacification and Development Plan, Annex II on Protection Against Terrorism, states the importance of treating the population and detainees in a fair, current and humane manner and sets out requirements for the implementation of the program. Prime Minister’s Directive No. 1293-Th. T/PCI/M dated 27 November 1968 outlines a set of regulations for rapid screening of their cases. The government is engaged in a program of improving and upgrading its detention facilities for detainees. Higher ranking VCI are sent to maximum security detention facilities on Con Son Island. Other specialized national correction centers have been designated for women. While the Geneva Convention does not require it, the GVN has permitted the International Red Cross to inspect facilities where VCI detainees and convicted VCI are kept.

G. Results

In 1968, the year it originated, Phung Hoang operations resulted in 11,288 captures, 2,229 ralliers and 2,259 VCI killed, for a total 15,776 VCI. 2,050, or about 13% of these were personnel functioning at District level or higher.

In 1969, operating under much stricter classification criteria, the results were 8,515 captured, 4,832 ralliers and 6,187 killed for a total 19,534, of whom 21% were from District level or above. The higher echelon personnel included:

From district level 3, 031
From province level 770
From city level 279
From region level 126
From COSVN level 23
Total 4, 229

About 48% of the VCI captured, rallied or killed in 1969 were specialists from the four key components singled out for priority action:

Security section personnel 4, 007
From finance and economy sections 3, 670
Revolutionary committee members 1, 108
Members of current affairs committee 609
Total 9, 394

Allowing for the 1,948 specialists who were from District level or higher, the total priority VCI targets were 11,675, or about 60% of the 19,534 overall 1969 total.{p.727}

The total fell about 10% short of the 1969 goal of 21,600, largely due to poor results in the first six months of the year. Performance in the last six months averaged slightly better than the 1,800 monthly goal, but not well enough to balance the first semester short fall. There has been some decline in the figures during the past three months, which is partly a reflection of stricter GVN standards, partly increased discipline and security by the VCI and partly an end of year slump. GVN has put much stress on the program for 1970, and it should gain in effectiveness against the enemy in coming months. It needs improvement in a number of its aspects, but the direction is set to bring this about. At the same time, it is making substantial contribution to the national effort today.

In one province, for example, Party members are being assigned two or more functions in villages, due to lack of personnel to fill existing vacancies. By November, VC Infrastructure who were unable to cope with the GVN pacification campaign had fled to sparsely populated areas, and even into Cambodia, where they were able to exert little influence over the areas to which they were assigned. Reports received in late November indicated that Cadre of District level and below had been ordered to return to their villages from their Cambodian sanctuaries. There has been a complete turnover of personnel in this district in 1969, some positions two or more times; most positions remain double slotted or vacant for lack of personnel.

The most notable successes against COSVN and Regional level Viet Cong have occurred in the large urban areas around Saigon, Danang and Hue. During 1969, the Police effectively neutralized a COSVN level intelligence net directed against the office of the President and GVN Ministries in Saigon.

A member of the Political Struggle Section of VC Sub-Region 5, immediately Northwest of Saigon, expressed his concern over the situation, following his arrest on November 7. He stated that the recent period of VC inactivity in both the military and political fields was not a sign of willingness for peace, but rather a period needed by the VC to reorganize their military and political strategies. He said that COSVN Revolution 9, which places a greater degree of emphasis on political activities, was an example of this new planning. He said that the Phung Hoang (Phoenix) Program has been given top priority for destruction by the VC.


The Viet Cong Infrastructure has not been severely hurt, but the Communists are having problems, and the problems are becoming more difficult to solve. The Government of Vietnam is increasing the effectiveness of the Phung Hoang Program in 1970. By continuing the publicity campaign to enlist popular support for Phung Hoang, and by emphasizing and practicing justice, the government is involving the people in the effort to end Communist terrorism. The Government is also improving the work of its agencies against this level of the enemy’s activity. In short, the VC Infrastructure is still there. The Vietnamese Government and people are determined to end this threat to internal security in Vietnam.




Statement of Former U.S. Senator Joseph S. Clark

I am Joseph S. Clark and it is a great personal privilege for me to present my views before this Committee and its distinguished Chairman, the Senator from Arkansas, Bill Fulbright. This Committee, on which I had the honor to serve for four years, is the one that I believe can play, and it has played, a crucial role in changing the tenor and tone of our foreign policy. The distinguished Chairman has often spoken of the historic role of this Committee, and to him and my former colleagues I can only wish God speed in their deliberations during what I believe will be the most crucial decade of our existence: the decade of the 1970’s. It will be, I believe, in the next ten years that we will have to face the hard decisions about our role in the world and our prospects for enduring peace.

This Committee can be a countervailing power against those forces in the U.S. that would commit our country to military intervention in difficult and perilous danger spots around the world where our presence is neither necessary, desired nor justified. At its very best, the Senate under the guidance of this Committee can be that countervailing balance for peace and sanity, as it was during the recent secret sessions to discuss our involvement in Laos and Thailand. The resulting bipartisan amendment called on the Executive Branch not to commit ground troops to Laos or Thailand without Congressional consent. This was clearly in line with constitutional authority granted to Congress to give advice {p.728} and consent on foreign policy matters. We have too often seen in recent years the strong arm of the White House making its case, and implying very strongly that opposition amounted to a lack of patriotism.

The classic case of excessive Executive authority is the continuing war in Vietnam. Since leaving the Senate (involuntarily, I might say) I have been President of World Federalists, USA, a voluntary, non-partisan political action organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and over 100 chapters throughout the country dedicated to the goal of world peace through enforceable world law. At our last General Assembly in July, we adopted a whole host of short and intermediate range goals. On the matter of Vietnam, our policy statement reads as follows:

“No single nation should have either the right or the responsibility to intervene by military action in the affairs of another people.

The Vietnam war is glaring evidence of the urgent need for an effective world agency to keep the peace and promote justice, and of the futility of national armed force as a means for resolving political conflict. While the peace talks in Paris creep on, the killing of both soldiers and civilians continues.

The killing in Vietnam must end. We call upon all parties to the struggle to agree upon an immediate cease-fire, instead of continuing to use armed force to maneuver for some hoped-for advantage.

We welcome President Nixon’s announced intention of gradually withdrawing American forces from Vietnam. We insist that the withdrawal of American forces must be complete, and must be carried out as speedily as possible.

The United States must, however, accept responsibility for the consequences of its past policy. We must provide refuge and asylum for those Vietnamese who may need it, and we must provide, under international supervision, for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Vietnam.”

In view of this concern of the World Federalists, USA, I felt it would be of some value to share our evaluations of the several resolutions on Vietnam pending before this Committee.

Many of these resolutions have the support of the World Federalists, USA. Some we strongly support, and feel that their enactment may still stave off additional tragedies in that battered country.

On the whole matter of our continuing presence in Vietnam, we strongly endorse S3000 of Senator Goodell, which would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and which is appropriately entitled the “Vietnam Disengagement Act” for it states that Congress finds that the “broad foreign policy interests of the United States require that the American military presence in Vietnam be removed at the earliest possible time” and that “such action will promote the social and political well-being of the people of South Vietnam.”

S3000 also states, and this is its essential thrust, that we must establish a clear time table for ending U.S. combat operations by withdrawing troop commitments in the near future. It signifies that the responsibility for ending the American involvement in Vietnam is “not the President’s alone, but must be shared by the Congress under its constitutional authority to “raise and support armies” and to “declare war.”

In expressing the clear intent of Congress that all military personnel be withdrawn from Vietnam on or before December 1, 1970, S3000 would give clear notice to the government of South Vietnam that it would have to assume the principal burden, which we have been led to believe is possible by countless statements by our military. On behalf of the World Federalists, USA, I strongly urge the adoption of legislation similar to S3000. We should remember that there are 1,000,000 South Vietnam under army {sic: ?arms?} confronting no more than 240,000 of the troops of the Vietcong and Hanoi combined. If they cannot prevent an enemy victory with a 4-1 superiority and vastly superior armament, I can see no advantage to American continuing to support them.

There are other bills and resolutions before the Committee, which we believe deserve support: I refer particularly to S. Res. 270 (Church D-Idaho), and Hatfield (R-Ore.) which states in effect that continued presence of U.S. troops in Vietnam postpones necessary political accommodations, and is therefore very much related to the Goodell Proposal in its philosophical outlines. To be sure, this goal of the Church-Hatfield proposal can only be attained by a more rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops, and a commitment to fully disengage pending an orderly transition. We strongly support S. Res. 270.

If ever there was a time for the people of South Vietnam to take charge of their own destiny, it is now, and this view underlines S. Con. Res. 40 (Javits, Metcalf & Pell) which also asks that the President withdraw all combat troops by end of {p.729} 1970, and terminate the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution by that period. This legislation would get the rest of the U.S. troops out of Vietnam in a reasonable time thereafter, and provide through the U.N. and other international organizations asylum for those whose lives would be endangered by such actions. We also endorse S. Con. Res. 42 (Young D-Ohio). The World Federalists, USA, endorses S. Con. Res. 40, as we do S. Con. Res. 39 (McGovern and others) which really gets to the heart of the matter in its very tough, but accurate preamble. The concurrent resolution lays bare the terrible haunting tragedy of this senseless war —

The loss of more than 47,000 American lives;

Over 250,000 American casualties;

The depletion of U.S. resources to the extent of over $100,000,000,000; and

The incredible destruction of Vietnamese life and property.

S. Con. Res. 39 also appropriately emphasizes the terrible state of our national priorities in characterizing the war as “the greatest single obstacle to efforts to focus the country’s financial, human, and spiritual resources upon urgent domestic needs.”

We also strongly support S. Res. 268 (Hughes D-Iowa and others) urging South Vietnam to give liberty and amnesty to political prisoners, to lift censorship, and to permit political parties to organize and present a plan for a transitional provisional government representative of all groups. The legislation goes on to state that if this is not done, the United States should declare that its commitment to the present Thieu-Ky regime is ended “with all responsible haste” and our military and political and economic assistance is terminated.

We also endorse S. Con. Res. 43 which relates to the Hughes Resolution regarding amnesty but places the matter under the jurisdiction of the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross. This legislation recognises that the international community has consistently demanded humane treatment for prisoners of war. The legislation calls upon all parties to abide by the obligations set forth in the convention and upon all authorities involved in armed conflicts to assume this humane treatment.

Another most interesting proposal before this Committee, which we believe deserves wide discussion, is S. J. Res. 166, sponsored by Senators Mathias and Mansfield. Discussion of this resolution would constitute a most needed dialogue on the direction of our foreign policy in the past with a view to strengthening our position in the future. It would repeal the Formosa and Pescadores Security Resolution of January 1955, Section 2 of Public Law 85-7 relating to the use of the armed forces of the United States under certain circumstances to maintain peace in the Middle East, a joint resolution on Cuba in 1962 (PL 87-733) and the South East Asian Resolution (Tonkin Bay) relative to the maintenance of international peace and security in South East Asia. All of these resolutions would be repealed effectively with the sine die adjournment of this Congress.

It would create a temporary joint committee of 12 to study terminating the National Emergency proclaimed by President Truman on December 16, 1950 with a report due before adjournment.

We also endorse Senator Magnuson’s S. Res. 290 relating to land reform in South Vietnam and the implementation by the government of a broad based and equitable land reform program. We believe there should be a discussion of S. Res. 275 of Senators Scott, Hatfield and Mansfield which abhors — as I do — the attempt of Phan Van Dong to associate Americans who demonstrate for peace with the cause of North Vietnam and S. Res. 271 of Senator Dole which has as its fundamental goal peace and self determination.

We do not think anything would be gained by a discussion of S. J. Res. 63 of Senator Thurmond, which does not even mention Vietnam and therefore is irrevelant to the major issues at hand. Its thinking is too obsolete to justify serious consideration.

In closing let me say that this Committee deserves great credit for the wide ranging quality of its discussions. I agree with a recent article in Foreign Affairs by Senator Javits (R-NY) which warns of a “crisis in constitutional relationships” and asks Congress to reassert itself in foreign policy. He asks the Executive Branch to readjust itself “psychologically and procedurally to a new reality — the reality that the Senate will not again shrink from its responsibilities or yield its constitutional power with respect to national security issues and the solemn undertaking of national commitments.” I feel that this development is already under way through the various phases of deliberation being conducted by this Committee, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to present my views. Thank you very much.



Friends House,
Sandy Spring, Md.,
October 16, 1969.

Committee on Foreign Relations.

Dear Senator Fulbright: I don’t care about testifying, all I want to do is to help in any way to have the United States withdraw its troops in Vietnam and observe the Geneva Agreement of 1954.

However, you can file this statement. Two years ago I took a group of some 35 professors and teachers around the world. In every country we visited the leaders we saw were opposed to United States policy in Vietnam. We met in London with the leaders of the Labor Party. They were all opposed to United States policy in Vietnam. In Japan every single Pres. of a University we met with signed a statement urging the United States to withdraw its troops from Vietnam. They stated that all of Vietnam should be united as provided for in the Geneva Agreement of 1954.

We are grateful to you for all you are doing,

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Davis, D.D., LL. D., Litt. D.


Statement of Axel B. Gravem

I am grateful for permission to file a statement with your Committee. I represent no one and am a person of no importance, but feel that my views may represent those of others in the same category whose voice should be heard.

I suggest that our foreign policy, for a great many years has been inhuman in the course of human events, and that its course should now be dictated by our mottoes of “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God” to which our leadership gives but lip-service.

Winston Churchill has said that “The history of civilization is War; the greatest talents of mankind have been and are being spent for destruction, but the time will come when they will be spent for construction.”

The Roman Emperor, Triboniam, said: “So use your own things as not to hurt others.”

The scientist Steinmetz said: “The time will come when you will scrap your physical laboratories and create laboratories of the mind.”

Jesus said: “If your enemy hungers feed him; if he thirsts, give him to drink; then you will be heaping coals of fire on his head.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The dice of God are always loaded in His favor.”

History records that the American people have made the greatest strides in technological development and that we, beyond all others, have applied the results for destructive purposes in the implementing of our foreign policy. We invented and used the atomic bomb; we have developed the hydrogen bomb; we are developing lethal gases — all for destruction! We, in fact, are the modern “Merchants of Death”, selling and giving our destructive wares to both sides in conflict and using our weapons to impel our will on others in an arrogance of command and power.

In Viet Nam this has been all too fruitless, with enormous destruction of human life and incalculable waste of wealth, resulting in a collision course in our domestic social, economic and political life which could end in revolution.

Our President speaks of pragmatism and our industrial-military complex, following in a pragmatic course which has never worked, should now take heed of the moratorium in our national and international mortuary and, actually, put the God of our untrustfulness in the driver’s seat and leave the driving to Him.

Obviously, this suggestion may seem to emanate from Polly Anna and the Sunday School, but, since all others efforts have so conspicuously failed, why not give constructive heed to our purported national mottoes?

The President is a Quaker, believing in tenets devoted to peace, why does he not give the order “Cease Firing” and be content to leave the aftermath to his God and to His care that the suggested blood-bath of the South Vietnamese will not occur, and that the dominoes will not fall.

If he does not do so, I suggest that your Committee cause a bill to be put in Congress demanding that the President give this order forthwith. It would appear that the entire country will rise in support of this measure. The logical person to do this is your Chairman, Senator Fulbright, who was man enough to admit his mistake in voting for the Tonkin Bay Resolution, showing more manhood than others in high office. The bald fact is that we made the most catastrophic mistake in our history. Our country is “big enough” to admit its {p.731} error and by so doing will deserve the “decent respect for the opinions of mankind” which it does not now have.



International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union,

Washington, D.C., October 10, 1969.

Hon. J. W. Fulbright,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

Dear Senator Fulbright: Enclosed are two statements which we ask be included in the record of the upcoming hearings on Vietnam policy. Our union, representing members in Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada, believes that the war is a “disastrous mistake” and that the United States must “stop trying to be a world cop.” We believe, along with important and growing sections of the labor movement, that workers and trade union people are not warmongers, and that they want peace.

Our international Convention adopted, in April of this year, the enclosed resolution “End the Vietnam War.” That position was recently reaffirmed by the ILWU State Convention in Hawaii. Enclosed also is an editorial from the official union newspaper, The Dispatcher, of September 9, 1969, pointing out the costs of the war to working people.

We wish you every success in your deliberations and hope that they will assist in bringing an end to the tragic conflict.


Albert Lannon,
Washington Representative.


Resolution on: End the Vietnam War

Whereas  It appears that a majority of our fellow Americans now agree that intervention in Vietnam was a disastrous mistake, harmful to our nation’s welfare; and

Whereas  ILWU members can take patriotic pride in the fact that their union spoke out against this mistaken policy from the beginning. They can be proud that ILWU, along with leaders of a number of AFL unions, gave support to the courageous and farsighted early minority which strove to arouse the American people to the ways in which the war was damaging and endangering our nation; and

Whereas  The 1967 ILWU Convention called for our union to persuade the rest of the labor movement to get into the fight for peace. We took part in a noteworthy effort by many leading AFL-CIO and independent union officials to establish a Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace to show that the war program did not have solid labor support; and

Whereas  Worthwhile as these efforts were, it is only fair to say that the leadership in the peace movement has not come from labor. It has come primarily from the young people whose lives and values are directly threatened by war and militarism, and from their natural friends and sympathizers — women, teachers and clergymen. The peace movement has been powerfully assisted too by the upsurge of Black resentment against the waste of national treasure and energy on foreign war to the neglect of poverty and injustice in our own backyard; and

Whereas  Labor has every reason to take a leading, active part in the peace movement. American workers pay for the immense cost of the war. Their paychecks are cut by inflation, taxes and surtaxes. At the same time the conditions of life deteriorate because the war prevents government attention to the problems of transportation, pollution, crime, inadequate schools and community facilities; and

Whereas  Our union must help reinforce the peace movement. A year ago LBJ’s dramatic announcement of a halt in the bombing of the North diffused that movement — and thereby made it possible to continue a war which had become politically unacceptable — by deluding the American people that the war was being ended; and

Whereas  Far from scaling down the fighting, the aggressive search-and-destroy actions and the instant-pacification program ordered in the last months of LBJ’s term escalated the level of combat and produced more American casualties; and

Whereas  The atrociousness of the war was escalated for civilians as well. Our bombers were shifted away from their wasteful and ineffective missions in the North to the “protective” destruction of the southern countryside; and

Whereas  Then, as so often before, Americans were asked by Dean Rusk to be patient and support one more effort which would bring the “honorable” settlement {p.732} we had been fighting for all along: a permanently divided Vietnam with an anti-communist government in the South. This is the unrealistic objective for which the Eisenhower administration and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles first started American interference in Vietnam affairs; and

Whereas  Up to now the Nixon administration has gone along with this program, while the military commanders repeat the same old bunk which has kept casualties mounting for the last six futile years: “We are winning, give us a little more time and we can bring the boys home and let the Saigon troops take over”; and

Whereas  The war will continue indefinitely — both the killing and draining of money we urgently need at home — unless a national decision is made to abandon the foolhardy objectives set by Dulles, Rusk and the military hawks, and negotiate a political settlement; and

Whereas  To bring about such a decision will apparently require a massive new popular anti-war protest, of which Labor must be a part. Our union must take a leading role in such a drive, doing all it can to encourage new allies from other unions, but moving ahead nevertheless. We must seek out and develop every natural alliance with other elements — youth, Blacks, and other minorities, the poor and exploited, and the growing number of clergymen, scientists and intellectuals who are concerned for peace and social progress. We need them and they need us to win our common objectives;

Therefore be it resolved,

We want and will work for these objectives:

1. Stop the killing — ceasefire.

2. Negotiate a political settlement with the people who are doing the fighting.

3. Withdraw all support from the present Saigon government if it does not cooperate in the peace negotiations.

4. Cut back on military spending and use the money for urgent domestic needs.

5. Eliminate the 10% surtax.

6. No more Vietnam! Stop pouring money down the drain all over the world. Stop trying to be a world cop. Let us straighten out our own house and show how democracy can be made to work at home before we try to tell the rest the world how to live.

7. Reassert Congressional control over the military-industrial complex. Investigate the extent to which unwarranted military secrecy has been used to hide the squandering of public funds and manipulation of public opinion for the advantage of private profits and personal careers.

8. Strengthen the United Nations.

9. End the Cold War. Seek peaceful co-existence between nations with different social systems; and

Be it further resolved,  That we demand that the Nixon Administration begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and that the negotiators in Paris be given instructions to move the peace talks ahead with the proposal for the withdrawal of all and any foreign troops and to leave the Vietnamese to decide their own affairs.

And be it further resolved,  That we make this resolution public by sending it to all news media, our Congressmen, Senators, Secretary of State Rodgers and President Nixon.

Be it finally resolved,  That we urge the officers and members of this union to take all appropriate action to these ends and to develop understanding and support for these policies in our communities and among our elected representatives.

[From The Dispatcher, September 9, 1969]

(By Sidney Roger, editor)

The time is now — and there is no time to lose — to stop the tragic Vietnam war, and get our men out of there as fast as possible. There is so much to do: Save our cities, restore our nation’s health, rebuild our people’s homes, clean the waters, purify the air, end unemployment and inferior education. We must reform our tax system so that the rich do not get richer, while the poor get poorer. We must concentrate our energies into making this the kind of country we keep saying it ought to be; and in a world that still has one slim hope for survival — providing there is peace.

That’s a big job, an enormous challenge. But it must be done. It’s getting late. Some scientists say it may even be later than we think, as the world slowly strangles in its own garbage, while populations soar and sources of food are disappearing at an alarming rate. {p.733}

In recent weeks the American people have been treated to tension-creating contradictions which make people want to climb walls. On one day some top echelon administration mouthpiece hints that large numbers of troops will be removed from Vietnam soon; the next day some other brass hat says no, we may even have to send more men.

One day some expert is saying, sorry, but even if the Vietnam war ends it will be impossible to divert any of those “earmarked” military funds to domestic needs; that the Pentagon’s demands are greater than ever in our quest for “defense.” The next day another expert says, no, that was wrong, we can divert a few bucks over to domestic needs, but not too much.

The fact remains, and it is a fact, that $80 billion budget for death can be cut back by more than $50 billion according to some experts, and our defense wouldn’t suffer one iota. The rate of spending in Vietnam is now $500 million a week. Hardly a week goes by that doesn’t reveal another example of cozy, sweetheart relationships between defense contractors and Pentagon purchasers. Those billions come primarily from the pockets of working people.

As Minnesota’s Senator Walter Mondale puts it so well: “In a very real sense, what we have in this country is not a pollution problem, or a farm problem, or an educational problem, but rather a war problem. And until we can bring this war problem under control ... there is little hope for providing the funds for the explosive domestic problems which plague every state and every city in the nation.”

Many people have sadly noted that what was called the “peace movement” has disintegrated — for many reasons. Then to whom can the nation look for leadership in the quest for peace?

Only one organized group in this country has the capacity to make peace work for the benefit of the people — and that’s the labor movement. Working people have the least to gain, the most to lose. The labor movement is the group most concerned with planning for the future well-being of the people.

The labor movement, despite its many internal differences, understands that it takes planning to eliminate poverty; realizes there must be some kind of guaranteed annual income; that there must be training for jobs and work for those who are trained; that there must be a gigantic housing program, and a national health program, and much, much more.

Above all else, we want to see an end to the war, with no ifs, ands, or buts. What about those who say working people fear an end to war would mean unemployment and a depression?

Well, we believe the majority of working people would be willing to take their chances. That’s why we have unions. The trade union movement developed out of poverty and crisis — pooling the muscle, minds and resources of the working people to bring about political and economic changes to make the system work for the working people.

Workers and trade union people are not warmongers. They know who does the dying and who pays the bills. To say working people won’t give up a few extra dollars in overtime, and some of the frills of a war-born affluence, is an insult to the working class.

We believe workers want peace. We believe the working people in this country are ready to say to the military machine: “Stand aside, we’ve got work to do?”



Lawyers Committee on American Policy Towards Vietnam,

New York, N.Y., February 3, 1970.

Hon. J. W. Fulbright,
Chairman, Foreign Relations Committee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

My Dear Senator Fulbright: We note that the Committee is planning to open hearings on Vietnam. We shall greatly appreciate an opportunity to have representatives of our Committee testify at such hearings.

We wish to submit, and enclose herewith, a program evolved by our Consultative Council and our Committee for the ending of the war in Vietnam. We respectfully request that this program be inserted in the record of the hearings.

Your Committee has performed a notable service in alerting the American people into the realities of American involvement in Vietnam and to the hazards and perils it poses. On behalf of the Committee, we wish to commend the Committee for its resolute efforts.

Faithfully yours,

Joseph H. Crown, Secretary


Five-Point Program to End the War in Vietnam

The advent of a new Administration provides an occasion for the reassessment of our policy toward the war in Vietnam and the negotiations that are presently proceeding in Paris.

The Number-One task facing our nation is the rapid termination of the war in Vietnam. This is essential for the peace of the world; it would brighten the prospects of international order. No solution in Vietnam is possible, however, unless we face up to the realities in Vietnam. In the sections which follow, we set out the guidelines for a solution — a 5-point program to end the war.


Chief among these realities is the imperative need for the United States to discard the notion that the National Liberation Front is an appendage of Hanoi and to accept the fact that the NLF is a political entity in South Vietnam entitled to share governmental responsibility and a force which inevitably will play a role in the post-war government. The acceptance of this actuality may be anathema to the Saigon regime, but until the United States acknowledges the inevitability of a coalition government in South Vietnam — and impresses that point upon the Saigon regime — the Paris talks are unlikely to register any real progress. Only recently the Laotian Prime Minister, Souvanna Phouma, repeated that “a coalition government is a necessity for South Vietnam [because] the NLF cannot be ignored.”

Professors George McTurnan Kahin and John W. Lewis, two of America’s foremost scholars in Asian affairs, in their illuminating and documented analysis of the war in The United States in Vietnam, have written (pages 119-120):

Contrary to U.S. policy assumptions, all available evidence shows that the revival of the civil war in the South in 1958 was undertaken by Southerners at their own — not Hanoi’s — initiative. There is no evidence to assert, as does the U.S. “White Paper” of 1965, that “the Liberation Front for South Vietnam ... was formed at Hanoi’s order.” This assertion is merely a “convenient assumption and is quite as devoid of actual foundation as is Secretary Rusk’s dependent assumption that the civil war “could end literally in 24 hours ... if these people in Hanoi should come to the conclusion that they are not going to try to seize Vietnam and Laos by force.”

The most knowledgeable noncommunist French specialists have long known all this, but their views have been studiously ignored in Washington. And one does not have to rely on their writings to reach the inescapable conclusion that the Liberation Front is not “Hanoi’s creation”; it has manifested independence and it is Southern. Insurrectionary activity against Saigon government began in the South under Southern leadership not as a consequence of any dictate from Hanoi, but contrary to Hanoi’s injunctions. Abundant data have been available to Washington to invalidate any argument that revival of the war in the South was precipitated by “aggression from the North.” The Administration’s admission of this would, however, undercut the very cornerstone of its justification of American military involvement in the South and escalation of the war against the North.


Another reality we must face up to is the recognition that the main obstacle to a settlement is the present regime in Saigon. The Saigon regime obviously has more to gain by continuing the war than by ending it — and the conduct of the Thieu-Ky regime to date indicates a keen perception of that interest. Hans J. Morgenthau, a member of our Consultative Council, recently observed in a letter to The New York Times that the Saigon regime “is capable {sic: ?incapable?} of making peace because its leading members have literally a vital interest in the continuation of the war; their political and perhaps even their physical lives depend on it.”

The rulers in Saigon are not a government in the sense that they can be considered to represent the interests or the desires of the people of South Vietnam. They constitute a small group of military officers installed, in effect, by the prior Administration to curb the political convulsions that were interfering with our military activities. Despite the manipulated elections boycotted by the Buddhists and characterized by the dragooning of the electorate, only one-third of the votes were counted for General Thieu. The Thieu-Ky regime has suppressed democratic freedom of expression and has indeed imprisoned the runner-up Presidential candidate, Truang Dinh Dzu, simply because he advocated peace talks. {p.735}

Despite the vast sums appropriated to the Saigon regime, no serious social reform has been achieved in South Vietnam. The Saigon military officers are conscious of their participation in the displacement and destruction of South Vietnamese rural villages. There are, it is estimated, about 2,000,000 refugees — as if 26,000,000 Americans were homeless or interned in special camps. No coherent or representative political structure can evolve under these tragic circumstances. If we continue to support the Thieu-Ky regime, we are, in substance, asking these generals to negotiate their own abdication.

The situation calls for the formation of a provisional government which would be representative of the principal political, social-economic, religious and ethnic groups of South Vietnam, including the National Liberation Front. The existence of the Alliance of National, Democratic and Peace Forces formed (after the Tet Offensive) in April 1968 and consisting of respected and widely-known non-Communist personalities, drawn mainly from Saigon and Hue, can greatly facilitate the formation of the provisional government.

We believe that a negotiated rather than an elected provisional government is called for at the outset in South Vietnam. There has never been a truly free election in Vietnam and the negotiation and implementation of an electoral procedure might imperil what would otherwise be a mutually acceptable settlement of the war. Such a negotiation would obviously require great delicacy and moderation on the part of the negotiating parties, and might be assisted by private and secret negotiating sessions.


Subsequent to the formation of the provisional government, at a fixed date in the future — perhaps one year later — and probably subject to the supervision of a neutral international observation group (possibly drawn from a reconstituted International Control Commission) free elections could be held. The object of such elections might be a Constitutional Assembly or an actual permanent government. In the interim, elections might be scheduled for district and provincial governments. These are the most meaningful units of political control for most Vietnamese. To proceed in this way would build into the peace settlement some assurance that the population of South Vietnam would recover control over its own political destiny at the earliest practical time.

International supervisory forces should be brought into South Vietnam under the aegis of the negotiating conference. A natural starting point is the International Control Commission (ICC) set up by the Geneva Conference of 1954. Both sides have indicated a willingness to use the ICC as a point of departure. Insofar as the provisional government establishes stable authority, the functions of the international forces could be reduced, and yet they might be needed to restrain certain militant elements on either side. Such a presence might also be of help in guaranteeing against reprisals.


There should be an immediate halt to all offensive operations. “Search-and-sweep,” “sweep-and-hold” missions should forthwith cease; the raids by B-52 bomber planes of villages and towns of South Vietnam should be terminated now; the bombing of Laotian territory should be promptly ended. Military action should be confined to passive defense. We view with grave concern the intelligence/extermination program now operative which aims to locate and eliminate the political and administrative leadership of the NLF to pave the way for Saigon’s control of the NLF hamlets prior to a political settlement.

Independent of the negotiations, the United States should without delay begin moving troops out, without awaiting prior agreement on machinery to monitor withdrawal of all American and North Vietnamese troops. Senator. McGovern’s proposal for immediate large-scale evacuation of American troops (and his condemnation of the Saigon military dictatorship) are eminently sound.

The proposal of the American delegation; “withdrawal of all military and subversive forces of North Vietnam” back to the North — with “subversive forces” apparently referring to diverse forces of the NLF — is not only unrealistic; it carries forward to the negotiating table the untenable position advanced by earlier administrations — that the NLF is a mere agent and creature of Hanoi.

The restoration of the demilitarized zone, proposed by our delegation, is aimed manifestly at sealing off the North from the South. This proposal seeks to implement only one point of the 1954 Geneva agreements but ignores the prohibitions {p.736} prescribed in the Geneva Accords against the introduction of foreign troops and armaments into Vietnam and the prohibition against the establishment of bases — prohibitions grossly violated by the United States. It was these violations and South Vietnam’s refusal, aided and encouraged by the U.S., to hold elections in 1956 which lie at the roots of the origin of the war. And the origins of the war must necessarily be considered in evolving a just and reasonable settlement.

The provisional government whose establishment we regard as essential, would direct the demobilization of all South Vietnamese armed forces on both sides, along with the withdrawal from South Vietnam of all outside forces, both North Vietnamese and the American and allied troops, under the surveillance of the international presence.

Successful negotiations may still leave some elements in South Vietnam in danger of reprisals. On the side of optimism is the remarkably favorable experience of the amnesty and exchange of persons between the two zones after the first Geneva Conference. On the pessimistic side is the cruel nature of the current war. The United States owes an obligation to assist persons who felt they might be in jeopardy because of the U.S. military withdrawal. The presence of the international supervisory force and the functioning of the provisional government should help mitigate against reprisals.


To promote an enduring peace in Vietnam, there should be an international agreement guaranteeing Vietnam’s neutrality and its freedom from any outside interference. Major questions such as reunification should be left to the Vietnamese after the establishment of responsible government in South Vietnam and the achievement of relative stability. It should be made clear that nothing in such an agreement precludes eventual reunification of North and South should the Vietnamese so decide. Provisions for commercial and cultural exchange, freedom of movement, and postal service between the North and South might well be included.

The United Nations could aid in promoting the long-range goal of stability in Southeast Asia if mainland China and North Vietnam become participants in the world community of nations. This would require that the issue of Chinese representation in the U.N. be solved. North Vietnam, like South Vietnam, could become an Observer at the U.N. with full opportunities to take part in the economic and social programs of the U.N. system and with opportunities for diplomatic consultation at Headquarters. With Peking representation and with agreement reached for self-determination in the whole area of Vietnam, steps could be taken for some type of U.N. guarantee of the neutrality of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Underlying the immediate steps would be the broader objectives: the achievement of universality of membership in the U.N. and the development of orderly processes for the attainment of security through peaceful settlement, peaceful change, and the promotion of human rights and the rule of law.

The achievement of a settlement of the Vietnamese war would open the way to fulfill the long-delayed promise of massive economic aid to the people of Vietnam. To the indigenous problem of poverty has now been added the appalling destruction of the war. The American people have a responsibility to assist in the, repair of the damage wrought to both South and North Vietnam by the war. It is imperative that we do so if we are to prevent this area from becoming an explosive center for bitter anti-Americanism in the future.

Aid must be openly extended without strings attached. This is easier to do if it comes under the auspices of an international body. Full advantage should be taken of the machinery already existing under the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East. Under its auspices plans for the Mekong River development have been laid, projecting a technological revolution affecting the lives of over 30 million people. And following the example of the United Nations’ response to the Congo crisis, a special emergency reconstruction fund could be established under United Nations auspices which would mobilize the skill and experience available through other international agencies. The Asian Development Bank could be given a larger role and the Asian Institute for Economic Development and Planning could greatly expand its efforts to train government officials.

These, then, are the guidelines for a solution to the Vietnam dilemma. The past years of devastation and deadlock have shown the self-defeating nature of {p.737} military solutions to political and economic problems. A new approach must be adopted.

The experience of Vietnam has shown the need for American understanding of the social forces impelling change in various areas of the world. The tragedy of Vietnam shows that revolutionary forces can turn to civil war, and civil war can lead to outside intervention, and intervention can lead to an ever-widening arena of conflict.

American understanding must become aware of the dangerous assumption that the United States can determine the course of the whole world, either through military power or economic power. It is important that the American people be clear that our involvement in Vietnam always rested on unfounded myths. Chief of the myths propagated by the prior Administration was (a) that the NLF was an appendage of Hanoi (see Point 1); and (b) that our involvement was a response to “aggression” by North Vietnam (dealt with in the Appendix of this statement).

It is imperative to dispel these myths which sought to confuse and obfuscate American public opinion and to rationalize our involvement in Vietnam. The dissipation of these myths can clear the record and thus expedite a resolution of this tragic war. We earnestly believe the implementation of the 5-point program here advanced will assure an equitable and honorable solution to the crisis in Vietnam.

We do well to recall Pierre Mendes Frances’ promise in 1954 that he would achieve a settlement of the Franco-Indochinese war in 30 days — a deadline he did indeed meet. That is the sense of urgency that should invest the new Administration — toward the end of restoring our national prestige and paving the way for the reconciliation and unity of our people.

It is fitting to recall, too, the great honor visited upon President Eisenhower for bringing the Korean war to an end. The early end of the Vietnam war would earn for this Administration the gratitude of America and of all mankind.

vis-a-vis “Aggression”
by North Vietnam

This proposition was advanced by former Secretary of State Rusk who, in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January-February 1966, testified that the 325th Division (perhaps 8,000-15,000 men) of the North Vietnamese Army had moved into South Vietnam at the close of 1964. However, that testimony was belied by Secretary McNamara’s statement on April 27, 1965 that evidence accumulated in March-April 1965 (after we had begun combat operations) confirmed merely the presence of a battalion “on, the order of 400 to 500 men.” Moreover, the Mansfield Report makes plain that significant armed personnel were introduced from the North only after the United States had intervened at a point in the war when “total collapse of Saigon Government’s authority appeared imminent in the early months of 1965.”

Professor Quincy Wright, formerly President of the American Society of International Law and a member of our Consultative Council, has noted, in his article, “Legal Aspects of the Viet-Nam Situation,” which appeared in the October 1966 issue of the American Journal of International Law:

There seems to be no evidence that organized contingents of the North Vietnamese army crossed the cease-fire line until after the United States bombing attacks began in February, 1965. ...

Ho Chi Minh’s action in support of the Viet-Cong did not constitute aggression or armed attack in international relations but civil strife within the domestic jurisdiction of Viet-Nam, similar to the action of the North against the South in the American Civil War. Whether called “intervention,” “reprisals,” or “collective defense,” the United States’ response by bombings in North Viet-Nam, which began in February, 1965, violated international law, the United Nations Charter, and the Geneva Agreement, if the latter were in effect.

Senator J. W. Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which had conducted intensive hearings on the war in Vietnam, noted in his book, “The Arrogance of Power” (page 107):

It is said that we are fighting against North Vietnam’s aggression rather than its ideology and that the. “other side” has only to “stop doing what it is doing” in order to restore peace. But what are the North Vietnamese doing except participating in a civil war, not in a foreign country, but on the other side of a demarcation line between two sectors of the same country, a civil war in which Americans from ten thousand miles across the ocean are {p.738} also participating? What are they doing that is different from what the American North did to the American South a hundred years ago, with results that few of my fellow southerners now regret?

The falsity of the myth is extensively documented in Vietnam and International Law, a volume prepared by the Consultative Council of the Lawyers Committee on American Policy Towards Vietnam.



Statement by Mr. Klaus Loewald, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies, Adelphi University

Given the prospect that the outcome of the war in Viet-Nam is a government dominated by Hanoi, and given the significance of United States involvement in that war, it is reasonable and proper for the United States to consider its responsibilities towards that country after the cessation of hostilities. This paper attempts to deal with responsibilities to individual Vietnamese citizens.

There are in Viet-Nam many citizens who would not wish to live under a government dominated by Hanoi. There are the Vietnamese who fled from that type of government once before. There are many who, selflessly or selfishly, worked with the United States and its allies these past many years. There are others, perhaps a large number, who cherish concepts of freedom and individualism in its best sense, many of whom, partly for that reason, we do not as yet know. Such people can expect little understanding or forbearance from a Hanoi-dominated government.

It is the obligation of the United States and its allies to facilitate the emigration of such Vietnamese as do not wish to live under a Hanoi-dominated government. Together we have kept them fighting to avoid that fate, and this statement is presented on the assumption that we shall not be successful.

I submit, therefore, that it is necessary for a nation claiming leadership among free peoples to declare its readiness to take responsible action. The United States ought to announce that it is prepared to open its doors to Vietnamese refugees, and it must ask its friends in the family of nations to do likewise.

While the activities of private organizations are necessary and laudable, the size of the proposed task appears to require governmental action. So does its complexity. The ordinary Vietnamese citizen today finds his efforts to obtain a valid passport severely hindered by administrative action even if another country is ready to offer him refuge. Nor must I necessarily condemn an administration for its reluctance to assist in the wholesale emigration of its citizens. To obtain its cooperation, I believe, allied governmental action is appropriate. In this connection, I am gratified by relevant statements by Senator McGovern. I urge the Congress to take requisite action.

My impulse to submit this statement to the Committee stems from expressions of an apparent popular desire to have done with Viet-Nam and to devote our energies to the solution of domestic problems. This recurrence of a national desire for a “return to normalcy” is disturbing, for even its earlier manifestation, after a victorious war, was no long-term success nor, judging with the benefit of hind-sight, could it have been. Today, it is neither realistic nor moral for the United States to wash its hands of a turbulent international problem created largely by its own actions.

I am aware of possible objections to my proposal. Cynics may say that Viet-Nam ought to be left to its own devices as long as our domestic misery fares no better. Learned argument may be advanced pertaining to differing cultural concepts in Asia concerning the sanctity, if any, of life and choice. But I submit that American moral and ethical standards, even if not shared by others, must govern our acts toward them. It would be shameful that, approaching a situation which the United States has led the costly fight to avoid — costly primarily to the Vietnamese — this nation should now refrain from shouldering responsibilities pertaining to the aftermath of that fight.



Statement by D. Gareth Porter, Ph. D. Candidate, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University

Self-Determination and the Legitimacy of the Saigon Government: An Historical Analysis

Gareth Porter
“He was in Vietnam during the summer of 1968 as a correspondent for the Collegiate Press Service. His writings on Vietnam have appeared in The Vietnam Reader (1965) and in Why Are We Still in Vietnam? (fall 1970).” He was bureau chief, Dispatch News Service, Saigon (1970-1971). 2009: IPS, archive, Antiwar Radio, Scott Horton.

The primary obstacle to progress in the Paris talks has been the status of the Saigon regime led by President Nguyen Van Thieu. The North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front, have insisted that no negotiated solution is possible {p.739} until the Thieu-Ky regime is replaced by a more representative government which is willing to discuss seriously with them the establishment of an interim coalition government, to administer national elections. The U.S. official position has long been that we cannot abandon a government which was chosen through free elections under a national Constitution promulgated in 1967.

It is thus on the alleged legitimacy of the present Saigon leadership that the U.S. bases its refusal to agree to an interim coalition. It is argued that only by honoring the 1967 Constitution and Presidential election can the U.S. uphold the principle of self-determination in South Vietnam. Because the Saigon Constitution and the Presidential election which it fostered have become the primary props of the present U.S. negotiating stance, it is well to examine both of them carefully in light of the principle of popular self-determination which they are supposed to represent.

On the basis of the following examination, the author has concluded that the Thieu regime has no claim to legitimacy in the eyes of the South Vietnamese people, and that the political process cannot be said to have brought them self-determination.


Premier Nguyen Cao Ky promised in January, 1966, that a “Council for a Building of Democracy” would be established sometime after January 20th to propose a draft constitution and that the constitution would be finished by October and national elections held sometime in 1967. There was little enthusiasm in Saigon for these plans, since it seemed clear that the military would keep the entire process carefully under control and the ultimate shift in authority to civilians would be put off indefinitely. Moreover, even this tentative timetable disappeared from view after the meeting in Honolulu between President Johnson and Premier Ky in February, 1966. The final communique promised to “build true democracy” and to write a Constitution “in the months ahead”, but failed to repeat the pledge for assembly elections in 1967. .1  The U.S. declaration gave its support to the “purpose of free elections proclaimed by the Government of South Vietnam”, indicating the low priority which a freely elected government held in American policy. .2 

In March, 1966, the first real pressure for a popularly elected National Assembly came from the militant Buddhists. For several weeks, the Buddhists and their allies effectively controlled Hue and Danang, the two major Central Vietnamese cities, as they demanded elections for a Constitutional Assembly and real legislative powers for the Assembly once the Constitution was written. Ky and his fellow generals were determined, however, to appoint the committee which would draft the constitution and keep all legislative powers in their own hands until a new government took office. .3 

A political congress in April, whose members had been appointed by the military junta supported the demands of the Buddhists rather than the position of the Generals and further asked that the rebellious Central Vietnamese cities be pacified by political rather than by military means. .4  Although Thieu and Ky signed an order establishing Assembly elections within three to five months, the other recommendations of the political congress were ignored when Ky’s troops were sent in American planes to Danang and then Hue to occupy them and arrest all those who had defied the government and carried on demonstrations.

Then Ky proceeded to issue an electoral decree which brushed aside the recommendations of both the political congress and a later electoral law commission appointed by himself, which had called for an assembly which would have legislative powers beyond the drafting of a constitution. Ky’s electoral decree prescribed a second election in 1967 for a legislative assembly, leaving the junta in power until after that assembly was elected. .5  Moreover, the Buddhists, who under the electoral commission’s plan would have been able to use their religious symbol, the red lotus, which had been very successful in 1965 local elections, were denied the right to use it in Ky’s decree. And the junta’s complete control over the screening process would allow it to keep out any undesirable candidates on the grounds that they worked “directly or indirectly for Communism or neutralism. .6  {p.740}

One day after issuing the election law, Ky ordered a Ranger battalion to raid the Buddhist headquarters in Saigon, and all the monks, nuns and laymen were removed and between thirty and forty leaders were arrested. .7  In Central Vietnam several thousand soldiers, five or six hundred officers (including all the regimental commanders and six of twelve battalion commanders of the first division, who had given their allegiance to the Buddhist struggle Movement) were arrested along with 200 students from Hue and Danang, 400 monks and several members of the Hue University faculty. .8  Thus the organizational structure which had sustained the Buddhist movement’s political campaign was shattered.

Even with the only coherent opposition group eliminated from competition, the junta did not refrain from using its power over the military machinery to insure a favorable result in the September, 1966 Assembly election. As Bernard Fall noted, a “seemingly innocuous provision” in the electoral decree permitting soldiers to vote wherever they happened to be stationed at the moment, rather than by absentee ballot, could be used to insure victory for a number of candidates. .9  Since the constituencies were provinces, a division of troops could give a lagging candidate” a big boost. Naturally, since there were not enough divisions to distribute among the candidates, some promises were not kept. The fifth division had reportedly been promised to a candidate in the fifth district of Saigon but was rerouted to the Delta to vote when it was learned that the chairman of the People’s Armed Forces Council (the enlarged Armed Forces Council), Tran Van Van, was in danger of losing. .10 

The major U.S. public relations effort on the Assembly election was focused not on the, meaningful choice which was presented to the electorate — an absurd theme under the circumstances — but on the high rate of voter turnout, which demonstrated, it was said, both the weakness of the” Viet Cong and the high interest and support of the Vietnamese for their government. According to Saigon’s figures, 80 percent of the registered voters, or 4.2 million, went to the polls, an impressive display of political participation. .11 

This exceptionally high rate of voter turnout was certainly an important characteristic of electoral politics under the military junta. But it was nothing new to South Vietnam; as one anti-Communist political organization noted during the summer, the Vietnamese people had learned what rigged elections were through one referendum, three national assembly elections and one President election under the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem. .12  In all of these votes, the percentage of eligible Voters who went to the polls was over 80 percent. (The average for the legislative elections was 85 percent, the figure for the Presidential election was 93 percent). .13  The method of insuring such turnouts was described succinctly by the U.S.. Army Area Handbook for Vietnam as follows; “Officially, there is no fine or penalty attached to non-voting. The authorities, however, tend to regard voter participation as a criterion of loyalty, and the citizen may find his motives questioned if his identity card does not show that he has voted.” .14 

This tradition was continued by the military junta in 1966. The police and civil servants distributed voting cards to these who did not pick them up, and few voters believed that it was a matter of choice for them. .15  The government’s attitude toward voting was further underlined by its policy toward those who tried to organize a boycott of the vote as a protest against unfair electoral arrangements. In the II Corps area, the Corps Commander, Vinh Loc, told local government officials, police and army officers to arrest all those who opposed the election. .16  South Vietnamese police were given special powers to shoot on sight anyone found agitating against the election, and on August 31, a man discovered ripping down a government election poster in Saigon was shot and killed when he tried to flee. .17  When the results of the election were announced it was clear that the members of the Constituent Assembly were highly conservative representatives of the well-educated middle and upper class and that the assembly would be “safe” from the junta’s standpoint. In fact, Article 20 of the electoral decree had provided that {p.741} the head of the junta could modify legislation at will unless two-thirds of the legislature overruled him. .18  And as one deputy said after polling the membership on Article 20, “It is impossible to get a two-thirds vote of the Constituent Assembly in favor of anything that goes against the government’s wishes”. .19  The leader of a major bloc in the Assembly, Saigon publisher Dang Van Sung, made no secret of his willingness to help the junta write a constitution through which a general wearing civilian clothes could govern South Vietnam. .20 

The intention of the junta to maintain an iron grip on the creation of the new Constitution was indicated once again when in the first week in December, 1966, the government signed a letter rejecting any effort to modify Article 20 or limit its power to overrule the Assembly. .21  At the same time officials from Thieu’s office suggested that a compromise might be worked out, meaning that the Assembly would accept the government’s revisions before passing important Constitutional provisions, in return for a pledge not to use the veto. .22  A series of meetings between the junta and assemblymen began for the purpose of incorporating military demands into the draft document. Thus the assembly would avoid humiliation, while the junta maintained control over the final produce. .23 

The two major issues on which the Assembly changed its position under the junta’s pressure we’re the power of the legislature to dissolve the cabinet and the election of province chiefs. Originally, the Assembly had favored a provision which would have given the legislature power to dissolve the cabinet by a vote of two-thirds of both houses. The junta was adamantly opposed to any such power in the hands of a legislative body, so a compromise was adopted which made any overturning of the government highly improbable. A vote of three-fourths of both houses was required in the final draft. Similarly, on the question of electing province chiefs, the junta flatly opposed it and the final draft gave the President the power to delay such elections for four years. .24 

When the assembly insisted on claiming substantial legislative powers for itself during the transition stage after the adoption of the constitution, the junta went to great lengths to force a retreat. Long after the above-mentioned compromises had been hammered out behind the scenes, Lt.-Gen. Pham Xuan Chieu, Secretary General of the National Leadership Council, went before the Assembly to demand that there be no provision for electing provincial chiefs and that the President should have the right to dissolve the legislature. General Thieu himself threatened, in effect, to nullity the body’s efforts by veto or, if necessary, by dissolving it, unless it agreed to modify seven articles, including the one concerning legislative powers during the transition. In the end, the Assembly satisfied itself with the power to write an electoral law, ratify treaties and other minor legislation. .25 

Thus the Constitution was the offspring of a strong military junta and a weak Assembly, a large minority of which had already agreed to cooperate with the junta in return for being elected with military help. The junta had used its power to suppress or intimidate any opposition and had maintained tight control over the entire political process leading up to the creation of the new Constitution. The way was then open for the use of the new formal structure to insure continued rule by a military man beyond the 1967 Presidential election.

Premier Nguyen Cap Ky lost little time in making clear his intention of running for the Presidency in 1967. Early in February, 1967, he began to refer to a military ticket in the Presidential election, which all military men would be expected to support. Ky’s plan to head that military ticket became clear when posters began appearing around Saigon extolling “the Government of Nguyen Cao Ky” as “the government of the poor” well ahead of the time when the campaign was to begin.

The U.S. could have made it clear that it preferred an election in which the administrators of the balloting were not at the same time identified with a major candidate. But instead American policy was to remain aloof while the election was systematically rigged to insure military victory. Most American officials, from the White House to the Embassy in Saigon, believed that government by military men insured stability”, which was the primary U.S. concern while the U.S. military buildup went forward. {p.742}


When the issue of a runoff election arose in the Assembly, followers of civilian candidates wanted the U.S. to take a stand in favor of the runoff, since without it, a united military ticket would have an easy job of winning against several civilian candidates. But U.S. officials made no attempt to influence the outcome. The pro-junta bloc in the assembly supported a single election, while nearly a third of the membership stayed away from the voting. The runoff was thus defeated 44 to 36. .26  The U.S. did use its influence, however, to make sure that the rivalry between General Ky and General Nguyen Van Thieu was resolved and that a single ticket represented the military. The result was a slate in which Ky accepted second place to General Thieu. .27 

Of the thirteen candidates who filed for candidacy, two were ruled off the ballot by the junta. Ky’s own former economics Minister, Au Truong Thanh, a young, able and respected Southerner, entered the campaign to draw support for an end to the war, and adopted the slogan “Ceasefire” and the campaign symbol of a bomb with an “X” over it. A few days after the filing deadline, one of Ky’s agents in the assembly filed a petition with the electoral committee urging Thanh’s elimination from the ballot, charging that he was a communist. At a press conference, the National Police accused Thanh of having been active in a Communist “intellectual proselytizing committee” in Saigon, but the two documents supported no such accusation. One was a “self-confession”, written by Thanh after being arrested by Diem’s secret police in 1959, in which he admitted only to having a “left-leaning political credo”. The other, purporting to be a report by a captured Viet Cong agent, charged him with making one pro-communist statement in a conversation. .28 

When the Assembly met to pass judgment on the eligibility of Presidential candidates one-third of the membership stayed away, and Thanh’s candidacy was soundly defeated. .29  At the same meeting, the Assembly voted 54 to 14 to rule out the candidacy of General Duong Van Minh. The pretext was that Tran Ngoc Lieng, had at one time held dual French-Vietnamese citizenship and was therefore not a Vietnamese citizen — an unique interpretation of citizenship. .30  Premier Ky had earlier announced the decision of the junta that General Minh would not be allowed to return from exile in Thailand, regardless of the election results. .31 

Vietnamese were convinced by this time that the elections would be fraudulent. The respected Catholic leader Father Hoang Quynh, who maintained close contacts with rural Catholic priests, told an interviewer that his “intelligence sources” had reported that a province chief had already received orders that a “certain” ticket was to win the election. He denounced the election as “window dressing.” .32  The general feeling was that the administrative, police, and military networks were being used by Thieu and Ky to insure victory. .33 

Early in the campaign civilian candidate Tran Van Huong, a former Mayor of Saigon, charged at a news conference that in six Mekong Delta provinces soldiers had been issued two voting cards, province chiefs had ordered their subordinates to produce votes for the generals, and his own campaign workers had been threatened. Huong added that he expected “voting frauds in faraway places where the foreign press does not go.” .34  The representative to the Constituent Assembly from Go Cong province in the delta immediately added that the Province Chief there was actively supporting the military ticket, urging civil servants and military personnel to do likewise and trying to intimidate Huong’s campaign staff. .35 

Shortly after Huong’s charges, President Johnson said that these charges were no different from campaign charges in the U.S. He noted that American campaigners allowed themselves the “luxury of a great many rash statements and criticisms” and predicted there would be more of such statements in South {p.743} Vietnam as the elections approached. .36  But while the charges were being flippantly dismissed, the U.S. embassy received from its own reporter in Go Cong province confirmation of those charges. The Province Chief, it was reported, had implied his support for Thieu and Ky at a meeting of government officials on election procedures, while Huong’s local representatives had been warned to terminate their campaign activities. The report also disclosed that the pacification program cadre in the province’s priority district had played an active campaign role on behalf of the military ticket, tearing down all civilian candidate’s posters and replacing them with those of Thieu and Ky, among other activities. .37 

The Johnson Administration, intent on assuring the U.S. public that the Vietnamese elections would be fair, invited senators, governors, mayors and other selected political and academic figures to go to Vietnam to observe the election for four days. .38  The move appeared to civilian candidates as part of a systematic effort to legitimize the election of Thieu and Ky, which they considered a foregone conclusion. .39  “The foreigners will never understand the subtleties of government manipulation”, Huong said, admitting that bringing them in was a shrewd move by Thieu and Ky. .40 

Vice-Presidential Candidate Dr. Phan Quang Dan meanwhile declared that the government had issued duplicate voting cards and carried villages on the electoral roles which had long been depopulated. .41  In part to remind American observers that there was more to rigging elections than might be observed in a four-day visit accompanied by government interpreters, the committee supporting one of the candidates issued an extensive guide to election-rigging practices based on both previous elections and current practices. .42  Nevertheless, none of the American observers appeared to grasp the potentialities for both fraud and intimidation by the Saigon government. The naivete of these observers was epitomized in the remark by New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes, who said, “If peasants are pressured or intimidated, they can call their policeman.” .43 

On election day, the atmosphere in Saigon was charged with further accusations of fraud. A group of highly respected political figures not connected with any candidate circulated the results of a survey which named 54 districts, or one in every six, in which officials were reported to have been ordered to insure a Thieu-Ky victory. .44  The following day, seven of the ten civilian candidates lodged protests with the Assembly concerning voting fraud. .45  A spokesman for Huong pointed out that he had been badly defeated in his native city, Vinhlong, while Phan Khac Suu, a former Chief of State, had run a miserable fourth in his hometown, Cantho. .46  Suu’s running mate, Dr. Phan Quang Dan, complained of the “absurd vote” which Thieu and Ky had gotten in Gia Dinh Province, where he had maintained a free medical clinic for years and had won impressive electoral victories in the past, but this time had finished fourth. .47 

Gia Dinh province appears to be one of the many cases of election fraud at the district level or above. As David Wurfel has pointed out, Gia Dinh, where the Province Chief was a relative of National Police Nguyen Ngoc Loan, was the province with the most spectacular rise in registered voters between June and August — over 80,000 — and it provided a margin of more than 100,000 votes for the military ticket, the largest in the country. .48 

Not the least of the cases of fraud, it appears, was in Saigon itself where Huong was the announced winner by a slim 2,000 votes. Weeks later, civil servants who had participated in the counting disclosed to an American reporter that General Loan had ordered a narrow victory for Thieu, but that Huong actually won the city by some 20,000 votes. .49 

A significant survey carried out by a New York Times reporter in twenty villages revealed that in many villages, the clerks and poll-watchers had been {p.744} brought in from outside the village by the district chief and that regulations requiring that election results be posted for each polling place were ignored. .50  When the poll-watcher was from the same village, stories of voting fraud sometimes got out. One American told the author of a poll-keeper in Dinh tuong Province in the Mekong Delta who showed him an official tally sheet giving Huong 80 per cent of the vote and the military ticket only 20 per cent. Yet the district chief had reported the results as 80 per cent for Thieu and 20 per cent for Huong. .51 

The voting system in Vietnam also lent itself to fraud at the polling place, although it is likely that it was much less significant than district or province level fraud. The only way of checking to see that ballots were not added by officials was to compare voting card corners clipped with the number of ballots cast. Extra voting cards issued to military personnel and their families, the addition of voting card corners, and proxy voting by village officials were all possible, Wurfel reported that the percentage of invalid ballots was much lower in rural than in urban areas, despite the prevalence of illiteracy in the former, raising the probability that proxy voting was quite widespread where no election observers were present. .52 

Outright fraud was only a part of the whole picture of electoral manipulation. It would appear that the informal pre-election pressures on voters also played an important role in the 1.6 million total vote for Thieu and Ky. One indication of this strategy was the removal of the Deputy Province Chief for Security in Long An Province in August, because, according to U.S. officials, he was not supporting the military ticket. .53  An American official in one Delta province reported to the Embassy that “strong and inordinate pressure” appeared to have been exercised by higher GVN officials, most notably the Province Chief, to support the Thieu-Ky slate. The Deputy Province Chief, a Huong supporter, said he thought Huong would win in the province capital, but the outcome in the countryside was “questionable” because of pressure from District Chiefs and outpost commanders. Village and hamlet officials were told by the Province Chief that if they did not vote for Thieu and Ky, “they would be kicked out.” .54 

As always at election time, Vietnamese felt obliged to go to the polling booth. People were threatened with the loss of their identification card if it was not clipped as evidence of having voted. .55  Moreover, there was a widespread belief among Vietnamese peasants that if they discarded the three-striped national flag (the symbol on the military ticket’s ballot), they would be considered disloyal. .56  And since in many villages, only Thieu-Ky posters could be found, the sense of obligation to vote for them was heightened.

There were some provinces where manipulation by the military was either very limited or nonexistent. Tay Ninh province, for example, the home of the Cao Dai “Holy See”, with a high percentage of Cao Dai followers, had a more honest election, according to U.S. and Vietnamese officials there, than most other provinces, due to the Cao Dai province Chief, a former Viet Minh, Colonel Ho Duc Trung. .57  Thieu and Ky were defeated there by Truong Dinh Dzu, 40,000 to 30,000 primarily because of Dzu’s strong stand on ending the war.

There is no way of knowing what percentage of the military ticket’s total vote was produced by fraud or pressure. The important point is, however, that Thieu and Ky felt obliged to resort to such techniques to insure victory despite the fact that they had already ruled out their most popular competitors and despite the fact that it would have been difficult for any military ticket to lose against a large field of mostly unknown candidates — unless it was intensely unpopular. Thus the evidence of electoral impropriety is also evidence that the military ticket was highly sensitive to its own lack of popular support.

Despite the fact that both the South Vietnamese military and the U.S. government viewed the Presidential election as a means of legitimizing rule by the military elite, there is much evidence that it had precisely the opposite effect. Student disgust at another rigged election provided the impetus for post-election protests which brought participation from the universities at Can Tho as well as from the {p.745} Buddhist Van Hanh University. At a news conference after the elections, the Saigon Student Union’s Executive Committee expressed its disapproval of a congratulatory message sent by President Johnson to General Thieu before the results had been officially validated. .58  Police raided the Student Union’s headquarters and removed posters calling for strikes to protest the rigging of elections. .59 

Eight of ten civilian candidates meanwhile formed a “Militant Democratic Opposition Front” to demand that the Assembly invalidate the election results. On September 21, the “Democratic Front” demanded the annulment of the elections and a caretaker government to organize new ones. It also sent a letter to Ambassador Bunker demanding an end to U.S. political intervention in Vietnam and warning specifically against U.S. intervention to have the elections validated by the Assembly. .60 

Confronted with a government which had been elected by fraudulent means, University student leaders were driven for the first time to oppose the continuation of the war itself. On September 23, the Presidents of the Executive Committees of the Student organizations at Saigon, Van Hanh and Can Tho Universities, addressed an open letter to President Johnson and the American people which began by noting that U.S. intervention in Vietnamese politics had “led the Vietnamese People to believe that the Americans are replacing the French Colonialists.” .61  On September 30, 500 students protested in front of the Assembly Hall against the rigged elections and, “after they were informed that the Assembly’s election committee had voted 16 to 2 to throw out the results, stormed the government’s huge election Scoreboard and began tearing it down. .62  Two days later, when students tried to move toward the Assembly to demonstrate, they were cut off by police and beaten. Many students were arrested and drafted immediately into the army, including the Chairman of the Student Union, Ho Hun Nhut, and two other student leaders, who tried to hold a press conference in the Student Union compound to protest “terroristic and oppressive police measures”. .63  Rather than fight for the Saigon government, Nhut and several others defected to the N.L.F. at the onset of the 1968 Tet offensive and emerged the following May as Chairman of the “Saigon Students Committee for Peace”, which was explicitly aligned with the National Liberation Front. .64 

It is significant that it was only after the 1967 Presidential elections that the Front was able to attract the first significant group from Saigon’s intelligentsia to leave the city and join them since the Front was founded in 1960. One member of the “Alliance of National Democratic and Peace Forces” which emerged after the Tet Offensive had been on the “Council of Notables” appointed by the first post-Diem military junta; another had been Saigon’s superintendent of primary schools for two years; a third was a well-known woman doctor. And two other former officers of the Saigon Student Union (one of whom had worked closely with Americans on social service projects) also joined the Alliance. .65 

The bitterness felt among Buddhists, students, and intellectuals over the rigged election was certainly a major contributing factor to the narrowing base of political support for the military regime in the following two years. Far from increasing its legitimacy in the eyes of the population, the Presidential election merely debased the electoral process itself and increased the cynicism of Vietnamese toward their government and toward the war itself. As the opinion surveys conducted by the U.S. mission indicated, by the end of 1967, most Vietnamese did not believe that the power to make war and peace lay with the Saigon regime. They believed that the Americans were prolonging the war, either to test military techniques and weapons or for economic reasons. .66 

Given this background, the policy of maintaining the present Saigon regime in power can hardly be viewed as consistent with self-determination. The invocation of that principle on behalf of the present U.S. negotiating position is bound to be viewed by most Vietnamese as merely a signal of bad faith.


Each footnote appears entirely on the same page with its text reference.  CJHjr

 .1  New York Times, January 16, 1966.

 .2  Text in George McT. Kahin and John W. Lewis, The United States in Vietnam (New York: Dial Press, 1967), pp. 442-5.

 .3  New York Times, March 29, 1966.

 .4  Ibid., Apr. 14, 1966.

 .5  See Kahin and Lewis, op. cit., p. 258.

 .6  Ibid., pp. 258-9.

 .7  New York Times, June 21, 1966.

 .8  Robert Shaplen, “Letter from Saigon,” The New Yorker, August 20, 1966, p. 124; New York Times, February 2, 1967; tin tuong (Paris), September, 1966, p. 13.

 .9  Bernard Fall, “Vietnam: The Search for Stability”, Current History, January, 1967, p. 11.

 .10  Denis Warner, “South Vietnam’s Political Awakening”, The Reporter, November 17, 1966, p. 42.

 .11  Fall, loc. cit.

 .12  Joint Communique of the Front of Citizens of all Religions and Political Organizations, July 9, 1966. The Front is an interfaith group led by the strongly anti-Communist Catholic priest Father Quynh.

 .13  Robert Scigliano, South Vietnam: Nation Under Stress (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1963), p. 96.

 .14  Quoted in Marshall Windmiller, “The Vietnam Elections” Ramparts, November, 1966, p. 4.

 .15  Washington Post, September 11, 1966.

 .16  Ibid.

 .17  Ibid., August 31, 1966.

 .18  Kahin and Lewis, op. cit., p. 260.

 .19  Christian Science Monitor, November 10, 1966.

 .20  London Observer, September 18, 1966.

 .21  New York Times, December 3, 1966.

 .22  Ibid, December 15, 1966.

 .23  London Observer, January 25, 1967.

 .24  New York Times, March 15, 1967.

 .25  Ibid.

 .26  Washington Post, May 8, 1967.

 .27  Christian Science Monitor, August 2, 1967.

 .28  New York Times, July 9, 1967.

 .29  Ibid, July 19, 1967.

 .30  Frances H. Craighill and C. Robert Zelnick, “Ballots or Bullets: What the 1967 Elections could mean,” Vietnam: Matters for the Agenda. A Center Occasional Paper (Santa Barbara: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1967). p. 21.

 .31  Dan Tien (Saigon), July 7, 1987.

 .32  Christian Science Monitor, July 9, 1967.

 .33  Robert S. Browne, “Memorandum on the Current Political Situation in Vietnam”: Congressional Record, July 24, 1967, p. A3708; Washington Post, July 24, 1967.

 .34  New York Times, August 16, 1967.

 .35  Tin Song (Saigon), August 17-18, 1967; Thanh Chung (Saigon), August 17, 1967.

 .36  New York Times, August 17, 1967.

 .37  Interview with Carl D. Robinson, former Chief Research and Programs, CORDS, Go Cong Province, Saigon, July, 1968.

 .38  New York Times, August 24, 1967.

 .39  Washington Post, September 6, 1967.

 .40  New York Times, September 1, 1967.

 .41  Ibid.

 .42  Saigon Post, September 2, 1967.

 .43  Wall Street Journal, September 6, 1967.

 .44  New York Times, September 3, 1967.

 .45  Ibid, September 5, 1967.

 .46  Ibid, September 6, 1967.

 .47  Ibid.

 .48  David Wurfel, Preliminary Report on Vietnamese Election, unpublished manuscript, September 21, 1967, p. 6. According to Shaplen, 22,000 votes were said to have been added to the Thieu-Ky ticket’s total at a late hour. New Yorker, October 7, 1967, p. 154.

 .49  Critchfield, op. cit., p. 356.

 .50  New York Times, September 26, 1967.

 .51  Interview with Dennis Rothaar, formerly IVS refugee aide in Dinh Tuong province, July, 1968.

 .52  Wurfel, op. cit., p. 10.

 .53  New York Times, August 31, 1967.

 .54  Interview with Robinson.

 .55  Interview with Rothaar.

 .56  Francois Sully, “The Elections in Luong Hoa,” unpublished report in files of Newsweek Bureau, Saigon, September 5, 1967.

 .57  Interviews in Tay Ninh Province, July, 1968. One year later, Col. Trung was removed on the pretext of corruption, despite his apparent effectiveness and popularity, Washington Post, September 14, 1967.

 .58  Tieng Vang (Saigon), September 14, 1967.

 .59  Dan Chung (Saigon), September 14, 1967.

 .60  Dan Tien (Saigon), September 23, 1967; Song (Saigon) September 22, 1967.

 .61  English translation of the original text.

 .62  Tieng Vang, October 2, 1967.

 .63  Saigon Post, October 8, 1967: Washington Post, October 7, 1967.

 .64  Xay Dung (Saigon), May 31, 1968; Washington Post, June 26, 1968.

 .65  Washington Star, May 12, 1968; Christian Science Monitor, May 8, 1967; Robert Shaplen, “Letter From Saigon,” The New Yorker, June 29, 1968.

 .66  New York Times, December 6, 1967.




Memorandum on the Justification of Our Vietnam Policy

(By Charles A. Weil)

I am a retired business man, student of, and writer on geostrategy, which I define as relating foreign policy to strategic capabilities as affected by geography.

I am author of the first and only book published to defend American military presence in Vietnam exclusively from the geostrategic, national security, aspect. This statement is a synopsis of that book, “Curtains Over Vietnam”, the basic conclusions of which no top level military professional could criticize, not even General Shoup; that military access to South Vietnam is absolutely indispensable to the U.S., global balance of power policy and American security.

It would not be surprising if its members, along with so many intellectuals, were predisposed against my views, since there is not, I believe, a single book other than my “Curtains Over Vietnam” that presents the geostrategic, national security stake of this country in Southeast Asia as it does.

I can’t know whether its considerations were ever presented in closed hearings to this committee. I am certain they have never been elicited in open hearings to educate the public and break through the “paper curtain”, the conspiracy of silence of our academic media complex. No wonder the war is unpopular. It has never been convincingly explained.

My conclusions stand or fall on whether or not a forced landing is, and always be, feasible on a shore defended by a power with nuclear capabilities; whether or not such a forced landing would be deterred.

Every other consideration is sham, immaterial, irrelevant or transcended.

President Johnson declared the key to Vietnam was really our own security. President Nixon said the same. But neither gave reasons for their bare allegations, reasons I am about to propound that not a single top level military expert consulted disagrees with. And only the military are qualified to judge.

The main thrust and novelty of my testimony is the disclosure of a suppressed geostrategic reason for Vietnam’s importance to security, to a power equilibrium; the indispensability of an independent South Vietnam, access to which cannot be denied in a contingency, by conventional or tactical nuclear capabilities of a potential enemy such as China and/or Russia.

Splitting the atom also split the global equilibrium into two interlocking parts with two different strategies; the conventional traditional balance of power and strategy, and the nuclear balance and strategy, super-imposed on the former, and a public opinion split from stem to stern.

There is no experience at all with the latter. It is therefore doubtful whether we can successfully relate Vietnam directly to the atomic balance (or balance of terror or mutual deterrence).

But we still can, and have to, relate the conventional equilibrium to the nuclear; to preserve the former, so as not to involve ineluctable resort to the latter in extremis, or surrender if the conventional balance be irretrievably upset in favor of the bloc, as Chou en Lai said it would have been by what he though was the effect of the 1954 Geneva parley. For to such conventional equilibrium, Southeast Asia was, and continues to be, an integral and vital geostrategic element.

The conceptual confusion as to global equilibrium and failure to distinguish between its two parts and strategies brought confusion of strategic terms that has rent our public opinion as involved misapplications of the untried a priori methods of nuclear strategy to conventional warfare; such as flexible response, escalation, and graduated deterrence; that simply don’t apply to conventional war and strategy. It produced the misapprehensions as to Vietnam’s importance and the strategy indispensable to its preservation that split the country.

For mobility, outflanking, which necessarily involves escalation, are indispensable to conventional strategy, especially of seapower.

The Vietnam conflict is a global power balance, preventive war according to high administration statements. They are confirmed by geography and the “real politik” that involved us in three prior overseas wars since we became, what Theodore Roosevelt said in 1910, “the balancer of the whole world.” It is to preserve the “precarious balance” between the maritime, or insular world and the continental heartland of Eurasia.

The conventional strategy of such a world balancer, or insular linchpin as successfully proved by Great Britain was, has been, and is for us, today as Liddell Hart described it,

“Seaborne expeditions against the enemy’s vulnerable extremities.”

And as Gneisenau advised England against Napoleon, on many fronts to {p.747}

“Force him to have his armies run from one end of his empire to the other”.

However, such multiple fronts, exploiting the mobility of seapower requires the capability of landing expeditionary forces on such extremities that have been, and are generally, peninsulas for many reasons, logistical and tactical, defensive and offensive, as in World War II.

That necessitated, therefore, the independence of many widely dispersed nations with parallel vital interests, on continental littorals with peninsulas, for allies and contingency beachheads in depth. Such prerequisites are all the more urgent if the potentially continental coercer has nuclear capabilities it could not resist using against the concentrated, vulnerable target of a seaborne landing force, like Eisenhower’s 4,000 vessels in Normandy; especially when it lacks conventional and logistic capabilities, as is the case with China.

There are twenty-three peninsulas in Europe available to seapower to preserve the balance or contain a continental coercer there as, France was under Louis XIV and Napoleon; Germany under William II and Hitler; and now Russia. But against Russia and/or China in East Asia there are only five peninsulas: Korea, Liaotung, Shantung in the North, and Luichow and Southeast Asia in the South.

The three first are all too near each other and our Korean beachhead, to China’s Manchurian arsenal, and to the terminus of Russia’s Trans Siberian railroad. By law of supply and demand, each Asian peninsula is strategically worth more than any of the twenty-three European salients into the laws of seapower, such as France, Spain, Italy or Denmark, attack on any one of which would bring us into instant war.

The independence of peninsula beachheads for a maritime linchpin is a consideration I have never seen in print, in all the verbiage on Vietnam, except as attributed to foreign statesmen and military men, and my own books, significantly not reviewed in a single newspaper or mass circulation periodical.

The Russians and Chinese are not only aware of the above U.S. grand strategy but have repeatedly avowed objectives to thwart it by driving American forces off the Eurasian landmass.

So, our lack of candor fools no one but our own public and that of nations with parallel vital interests, and only handicaps effective implementation of our conventional strategy to forestall conquest eventually or strategic nuclear warfare as only alternatives.

South Vietnam is not only on a peninsula with potential access to China, but a position from which the strategic straits of Malacca can be attacked or defended. It is far from Korea, China’s Manchurian arsenal, the terminus of Russia’s Trans-Siberian railroad and has excellent harbors for landing personnel and materiel. It is peninsular in character, logistically, with good roads running North-South but few widely separated East-West communications through mountainous defiles, vulnerable and easily blocked.

Vietnam could well be our last clear chance if the domino theory proves right. Better safe than sorry; better hedge our bets.

Offshore islands; Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia; won’t do if only because not on the mainland, necessitating forced landings, perhaps impossible against China’s growing nuclear capabilities.

Thailand is an inadequate springboard since it does not provide access to China because of mountains and lack of roads to China and the South China Sea. Alone, it is difficult to defend from Laos.

Malaya is too far from China, and can easily be defended from the North, not from the South.

However, Laos is the key to Vietnam, according to President Kennedy an General Westmoreland. It touches all countries of the peninsula and has no value at all except strategic, providing the only means of access for materiel and personnel from China and North Vietnam to the South via the Ho Chi Minh trails.

The 1962 treaty made it a buffer state. Instead, the enemy is using it as communications zone in violation of that treaty. If such violations cannot be stopped by diplomacy, they have to be stopped by military action. Since bombing can’t do it, only ground action can save Vietnam. If Vietnam is a key to our security, Laos is the key to Vietnam.”

The flow of personnel and materiel through Laos must therefore be stopped at all costs, short of strategic nuclear war. No peninsular campaign has been waged and won in modern warfare without a defended line and protected flanks to bar communications and supplies. No guerrilla war has ever been lost where the guer- {p.748} rillas have been effectively cut off from replacement of men and supplies by a defended line or sea blockade.

Such 120 mile Laotian line is well within the capabilities of South Vietnam and allies and would compel the enemy to fight the kind of war we can fight and support and the kind they can’t. They are too far away, too poor industrially, and have inadequate access roads though they are starting to build some.

Many objections have been raised, none of which have an iota of merit, that within the restricted compass of this expose can be dealt with, if raised on cross examination, I am prepared for. Each and every such objection can however be demolished. Most are sham, immaterial and irrelevant or transcended by the priority of national survival over any and every other consideration.

Now we are threatened by avowed enemies with control of an indispensable piece of real estate, with the reasons for preventing it, having been suppressed by our academic media-complex whose paper curtain would have the iron and/or bamboo descend over it.

No general circulation newspaper would publish such reasons even in letters to editors. No trade book publisher would publish my book setting them forth. No general circulation periodical would publish such an article. No one would even publish a review of my book. No TV or radio station would allow such reasons to be broadcast or of the existence of such a book with such reasons.

No wonder the war is unpopular. No wonder intellectuals, who only know what they can read, protest against it. No wonder the campus unrest. No wonder Mr. Nixon ignores a public opinion deliberately kept in ignorance by that paper curtain.

I also deeply deplore not having been accorded a personal appearance and subjected to cross examination, as I also wrote Senator Fulbright with copy to Senator Javits. For this statement is only a synopsis of a 155 page book in which I may well have overlooked or ineptly expressed some point on which some committee member might well have sought clarification.

Secondly it is most probable that in the scurry it will only be filed and forgotten, not even read by all members of this committee whose opinion it might have served to influence.

Finally it raises the presumption that such cross examination would not have impaired the validity of its thesis.


Difference in Figures on Refugees Moving South

The Geneva Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Viet-Nam of July 20, 1954, provided in article 14(d) for the movement of civilians from either “zone” (i.e., North Viet-Nam or South Viet-Nam) to the other during the period authorized for the regroupment of military forces (specified elsewhere as 300 days).

During this period, which lasted from July, 1954 through May, 1955, an estimated 850,000 to 900,000 residents of North Viet-Nam moved to the South. (An unknown but much smaller number of persons moved from South to North.) The historian Joseph W. Buttinger, who himself uses the estimate of “nearly 900,000 persons”, states that a principal reason for the lack of any precise number of refugees is that the files of the South Vietnamese Refugee Commissariat were burned in a fire during fighting in Saigon in the spring of 1955. 748.1 

There is a substantial and well-organized Northern Catholic community in South Viet-Nam today, which by most estimates — taking into account the large Catholic component of the original refugee group and their descendants, who share many of the same political and ideological points of view — numbers well over a million persons, perhaps as many as a million and a half. The total Roman Catholic population of South Viet-Nam today — ethnic Northerners and ethnic Southerners alike — is believed to number about two million persons.


 748.1  Buttinger, Viet-Nam: A Dragon Embattled (New York: Praeger 1967), Volume II, pp. 900 and 1116-1117.



Examination of Witnesses

{A 2-page index, omitted, each senator, whom he questioned, the page numbers}



Source: The printed hearings (cited below).

By CJHjr: Photocopied at 141%, scanned, converted to text (OCR: FineReader 6.0), formatted (xhtml/css), links, text {in braces}, text beside a green bar |, text in yellow boxes, bold-face, bold-italics, highlighting, added paragraphing (for ease of reading) marked with this trailing paragraph symbol: ¶ .

This document: Appendix (pp.701-748) to Vietnam: Policy and Prospects, 1970 {58.4mb.pdf, source} “Hearings on Civil Operations and Rural Development Support Program” (U.S. Congress 91-2, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, February 17, 18, 19, 20, and March 3, 4, 17, 19, 1970, and Appendix, 7+750 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:V 67/17, CIS: 71 S381-2, OCLC: 119418, LCCN: 76610214 pf, DL, WorldCat}.

Previous: March 19 1970 hearing (pages 635-700) {280kb}

See also:

The second Phoenix hearings: U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam (U.S. Congress 92-1, House Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Government Information, Hearings, July 15 {a.m., p.m.}, 16, 19, 21, and August 2 1971, 4+362 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.G 74/7:V 67/4, CIS: 72 H401-3, OCLC: 235387, LCCN: 71616178 pf, DL, WorldCat}. Ensuing report: U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam (U.S. Congress 92-2, House Report No. 92-1610, House Committee on Government Operations, October 17 1972, 5+107 pages) {SuDoc: [Y 1.1/8:]92-2:H.RP.1610, Serial Set: 12976-6, CIS: 72 H403-19, OCLC: 540690, LCCN: 72603272 pf, WorldCat} {Full text: pages 1-46 2.4mb.pdf, pages 47-97 2.8mb.pdf, pages 99-107 501kb.pdf, omitting page 98 and repeating page 107, instead, at the start}.
The third Phoenix hearings: Nomination of William E. Colby to be Director of Central Intelligence (U.S. Congress 93-1, Senate Armed Services Committee, Hearings, July 2, 20 {a.m., p.m.}, 25, 1973, 3+186 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/3:C 67/3, CIS: 73 S201-27, OCLC: 800312, LCCN: 73603022 pf, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: William E. Colby, Robert F. Drinan, Samuel A. Adams, Paul Sakwa, David S. Harrington, Kenneth B. Osborn.
Vietnam Policy Proposals: Hearings on nine proposed items of legislation to end the U.S. war in Vietnam (U.S. Congress 91-2, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, February 3, 4, 5, and March 16, 1970, 5+405 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:V 67/16, CIS: 70 S381-7, OCLC: 78825, LCCN: 74606991 pf, DL, WorldCat}.
National Veterans Inquiry on U.S. War Crimes in Vietnam (Citizens’ Commission of Inquiry on U.S. War Crimes, Washington D.C., December 1-3 1970), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 4238-4271 (U.S. Congress 92-1, March 1 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.4, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Robert Bowie Johnson Jr., Mike McCusker, Daniel K. Amigone, Greg Motoka, Kenneth Barton Osborn, Norman Kiger, Gail Graham, Steve Noetzel, Edward Murphy, Daniel Alfiero, Louis Paul Font, Robert Master, Peter Norman Martinsen, T. Griffiths Ellison, Ed Melton, Chuck Hamilton, Lee Meyrowitz, Gordon S. Livingston, Greg Turgeon, Richard Altenberger, Bob Connelly, Robert Lifton, Chaim Shatan, Donald Engel, Gary Thamer, Steven Hassett, Kenneth Campbell, Sam Rankin, Phillip Wingenbach, Tod Ensign, Larry Rottmann, Robert Osman.
Winter Soldier Investigation (Vietnam Veterans Against the War Inc., Detroit Michigan, January 31, February 1-2, 1971), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 9947-10055 (U.S. Congress 92-1, April 6 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.8, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}; 117 Congressional Record E 2825-2936 (U.S. Congress 92-1, April 6-? 1971, Daily Edition (green bound)) {SuDoc: X/A.92/1:117/???-???, ISSN: 0363-7239, LCCN: 80646573 pf, OCLC: 02437919, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}.
American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1971 (U.S. Congress 92-1, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on National Security Policy and Scientific Developments, Hearings, March 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, April 1, 6, 20 {vvaw}, 1971, 9+583 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/1:P 93/4/971/PT.1, CIS: 71 H381-9, OCLC: 15634210, LCCN: 77612471 pf, WorldCat}, witness: Larry Rottmann (volunteer coordinator, Vietnam Veterans Against the War), April 20 1971 hearing, pages 353-423 {3.2mb.pdf}, at pages 406-423. CIS: “Description of charged mistreatment of prisoners in South Vietnam by American forces; report of receiving Officers Candidate School instruction on the use of torture.”


Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia {44.14mb.pdf, source} “Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-Second Congress, First Session, on S. 376, S. 974, S.J. Res. 82, S.J. Res. 89, S. Con. Res. 17, S. Res. 62, and S. Res. 66” (U.S. Congress 92-1, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, April 20-May 27 1971: “April 20, 21 and 22, 28, May 3, 11, 12, 13, 25, 26 and 27, 1971,” 7+726+12 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:AS 4/13, CIS: 71 S381-18, OCLC: 198272, LCCN: 79614140 pf, DL, WorldCat}, witness: John Kerry (VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War), Thursday April 22 1971, 11:05am-1:00pm, pages 179-210 {3.1mb.pdf}.
House Ad Hoc Hearing for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (U.S. Congressmen Jonathon Bingham and Paul Findley, presiding, Friday, April 23 1971, Venue: U.S. Congress, House of Representatives), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 13104-13118 (U.S. Congress 92-1, May 3 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.10, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Larry Rottmann, Forest Lindley, Les Johnson, Arthur Egendorf, Kip A. Kypriandes, Phillip Lowley, Vinny Giardina, Michael Paul McCusker, William W. Lemmer, Alex Prim, Robert McLaughlin, Jack Smith, David B. Maize.
Senate Ad Hoc Hearing for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (U.S. Senator George McGovern, presiding, Friday, April 23 1971, Venue: U.S. Congress, Senate, Room G-103 New Senate Office Building), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 15392-15405 (U.S. Congress 92-1, May 17 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.12, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Scott Camil, Vinny Giardina, Melville L. Stephens, Basil Paquet, Joe Nielsen, Dale Granata, Everett Carson, Forrest Lindley Jr., Samuel Miller, David A. Lamenzo, Jon Bjornson, Ken Provan.
Ad Hoc Hearings on Command Responsibility for War Atrocities in Vietnam {copy} (U.S. Congressman Ron Dellums, presiding, April 26, 27, 28, 29, 1971, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Venue: U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building), transcript, The Dellums Committee Hearings on War Crimes in Vietnam: An Inquiry into Command Responsibility in Southeast Asia (New York, Vintage Books, 1972, 13+355 pages) {LCCN: 79039897 pf, ISBN: 0394717678, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Five West Point graduates (Fred Laughlin, Gordon Livingston {Iraq, copy}, Robert B. Johnson, Greg Hayward, Ron Bartek, Michael O'Mera), five former military intelligence special agents and POW interrogators {omitted from the linked source}, ten former Americal Division members (Gary Battles, Charles David Locke, Terry Mullen, Steve Padoris, Daniel S. Notley, John Beitzel, Guadalupe G. Villarreal, Daniel Barnes, Thomas Cole, William Toffling), overview of air war, pacification, and forced urbanization (John Sack, Kenneth Campbell, Randy Floyd, Elliot L Meyrowitz).
Bertrand Russell Tribunal, “International War Crimes Tribunal” (Stockholm Sweden, May 2-10 1967; Roskilde Denmark, November 20 – December 1 1967).
Tiger Force: “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths: Tiger Force, an elite fighting unit in Vietnam, left a trail of atrocities in that country that have been concealed from the public for three decades.” (The Blade, Toledo Ohio, October 22 2003, February 15, March 28, April 6, May 2, May 12 2004).

This document is not copyrighted and may be freely copied.


Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Posted May 19 2004. Updated May 17 2009.


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